Hydro-Québec announced a plan to purchase 150 megawatts of power generated by forest biomass cogeneration plants throughout the province.
The power will come from several different plants and each plant is to generate no more than 50MW, according to The Montreal Gazette.
“The price for the power, in 2012 dollars, will be 10.6 cents per kilowatt hour, the average price for power awarded in 2009 to successful bidders on a biomass power program set to supply the hydro grid in 2012,” the paper reported.
Some parties, including the Conseil de l’industrie forestière du Québec, believed the price should be higher and tried to lobby Hydro-Québec for an inflated price. However, in a ruling dated Dec. 15, 2011, the Régie de l’Énergie found that the price determined by Hydro-Québec Distribution was “just, reasonable and appropriate for the installations admission under the program,” the Gazette said.
In a cost scenario put to the energy board, Hydro-Québec suggested that if the 150 MW of power was on the grid by 2016 – by which time the price to suppliers would be 11.5 cents/kWh – energy costs to the utility would be $136 million.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Hydro-Québec signed a deal to acquire power from cogeneration plants.
In November Tembec Inc. announced a $190-million cogeneration project, and last year, Fortress Specialty Cellulose announced that it would be building a cogeneration facility on site at their Thurso pulp mill. In both cases, each company will sell excess power from their facilities to the Québec power grid.