EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie du Bas-Saint-Laurent (RIEBSL), and Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (RIEGÎM) are pleased to announce the commissioning of the Nicolas-Riou wind project. This 224.25-MW project comprises 65 turbines of 3.45 MW supplied by Vestas. Nicolas-Riou is 50% owned by EDF EN Canada, 33% by RIEBSL and 17% by RIEGÎM.
Located in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, on the private and public lands of TNO Boisbouscache and the municipalities of Sainte-Françoise, Saint-Mathieu-de-Rioux, Saint-Médard (RCM Basques) and Saint-Eugene-de-Ladrière (RCM of Rimouski-Neigette) Nicolas-Riou Wind Project represents an investment of more than CAD $500 million. Construction commenced in June 2016 employing over 400 workers during its peak.
In addition to the profits distributed to the municipal shareholders, an annual contribution of over CAD $1.1 million will be provided to the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie regions, particularly to the Basques and Rimouski-Neigette RCMs throughout the 25-year contract with Hydro-Québec.
“The Nicolas-Riou Wind Project mobilized all regional county municipalities (RCM) in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, as well as the Maliseet of Viger First Nation, who invested together with their respective municipalities and EDF EN Canada for the capital expenditures. This exceptional partnership is coupled with a desire to boost regional economic development by capitalizing on the local wind resource,” said Cory Basil, Vice President, Development for EDF EN Canada. “We are very excited to have formed a strong partnership with RIEBSL and RIEGÎM. This project is the result of a partnership that pairs the experience and expertise of EDF EN Canada with the understanding of local expectations brought by our public partners.”
According to Michel Lagacé, President of RIEBSL, “Pride is the word that sums up the last nine years of the local authority’s commitment to build Canada’s largest equally owned community project. Nicolas-Riou represents a great public-private achievement resulted from the addition of the partners’ skills. Thank you to the development and construction teams of EDF EN Canada for the hard work! We look forward to many years of continued collaboration and success.”
“The RCMs of Gaspésie are very pleased with the commissioning of the Nicolas-Riou Community Wind Project,” said Simon Deschênes, President of RIEGÎM. “And we want to highlight the excellent collaboration of all our partners who made possible this ambitious and very stunning project.”
On December 22nd, 2017, a $340 million, non-recourse, full-term project financing was arranged and fully underwritten by National Bank Financial Markets, as co-lead arranger and sole book runner, and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, as co-lead arranger.
Nicolas-Riou is one of eight wind projects awarded to EDF EN Canada through Hydro-Québec Distribution’s call for tenders in 2008, 2010 and 2013. It also represents the fifth project held in partnership with one or more RCM; the other four being La Mitis(24.6 MW), Le Granit (24.6 MW), Lac Alfred (300 MW) and Rivière-du-Moulin (350 MW). Since 2008, EDF EN Canada has placed in service 1,600 MW of wind and solar projects in Canada.