Why cheap wind power is making Quebec’s big, old dams more valuable as a ‘battery,’ say experts

$600 million Innu wind project will use province’s hydro dams as backup power for when wind doesn’t blow

You might think that what with having Canada’s largest hydroelectric capacity, providing almost 100 per cent of its electricity, including exports, a new $600-million wind power project is the last thing Quebec would need.

That was exactly what experts were saying when Premier François Legault cancelled Apuiat, a private but government-supported wind project in Northern Quebec in 2018.

But now as the province relaunches the project, power experts say an investment in wind will actually increase the value of Hydro-Québec’s existing hydroelectric infrastructure.

Beyond providing clean electricity amid growing demand, they can act like enormous grid-scale batteries, addressing the Achilles heel of intermittent, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar: what do you do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine?

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