Wind Energy

Tuesday November 4, 2014

Wind Energy Its impact on rate increases

Following the signing of the Kyoto protocol, Quebec had started looking for a renewable energy other than the hydropower from Hydro-Quebec. From this initiative emerged the idea to bring back the use of wind energy. Last year, Luc Boulanger, executive director of the Association québécoise des consommateurs industriels d'électricité (AQCIE), explained that consumers do not have to pay more for their electricity just because the government wants to support a certain industry. The same year, Hydro-Quebec called for a rate increase of 5.8%, of which 2.7% can be explained by the purchase of wind power. Following this demand, several large companies have rallied in opposition.


Recently, Hydro-Québec Distribution filed a request for a rate increase of 3.9% to the Régie de l'énergie that would apply to all of Quebec as of April 1, 2015. This year, as the last, more than half of this increase is due to the cost of new supplies, mainly for wind energy, as well as the rising cost of patrimonial electricity. Several factors explain the requested adjustment, such as the cost of new supplies, the price of patrimonial electricity, investments in transport and distribution networks, and the efficiency gains made by the company.


 Source: Hydro-Quebec


In 2013, while Hydro-Québec was already taken with surplus, the government has agreed to Hydro-Quebec to buy a new block of 800 megawatts of wind energy in requests from businesses who live, especially in Est-du-Québec. The cost of these new supplies, estimated at 3 or 4 times the cost of the old hydroelectric plants, will integrate the entire network cost under these purchase programs, adding one stroke a 2.1% to the rate application. Curiously, it was also in 2013 that Quebec took the decision to end the mini-plant program less than 50 megawatts and also cancelled, by the same token, the construction of six mini-hydropower plants.


If this request submitted to the Régie de l'énergie by Hydro-Québec is approved, the monthly impact of the rate adjustment of 3.9% on a small house would be of $5.14, and that on a large home, $9.46. Nevertheless, residential rates of Hydro-Quebec customers will remain the lowest in Canada and also amongst the lowest in North America.

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