Characteristics and History of the Area
Seigneurie de Beaupré belongs to the Séminaire de Québec.
It is the largest piece of private land in Canada, approximately 618 square miles, more than 8 times the area of Quebec’s Island of Orleans.
The property forms a strip about 80 km long by 20 km wide parallel to the St. Lawrence River.
For more than 100 years, the Séminaire de Québec has logged the land. These activities provided the wind farm partners with existing infrastructure they could use and consequently reduce environmental, noise and visual impacts.
The quality of the property wind resources is excellent, with an average wind speed of 30 km/h. For context, the Canadian Wind Energy Association states that a wind turbine usually begins to rotate when the wind speed reaches 13 km/h.
The property is located near Hydro-Québec’s high voltage (315 kV) transmission line.
There are no permanent residences on the land.
201 hunting and fishing clubs are located on the property.
Creation of the Seigneury de Beaupré by the Company of New France.
Mgr. François de Laval arrived in Quebec City to lay the foundations of the Church in New France. He would become
the first Bishop of Quebec.
Mgr. de Laval acquired the Seigneury de Beaupré to provide the community of priests he founded with the resources needed for his mission.
François de Laval founded the Séminaire de Québec, which he soon
associated with the Séminaire des Missions étrangères de Paris.
Mgr. de Laval bequeathed all of his assets, including the Seigneury de Beaupré, to the Séminaire de Québec.
Mgr. François de Laval,
Founder of the Séminaire de Québec
Photo credit: Centre d’animation François De Laval collection
The Great Wind Farm Adventure
Territory's Wind Power Potential Discovered
In developing a wind farm, the most important element is, of course, the wind. Not enough wind, no wind turbines.
How do we know where there is wind? As a starting point, we can look at maps showing the wind potential in different regions. When the location has been pinpointed, we install wind measuring masts at the most promising points. The towers remain in place for at least one year. All data is recorded 24/7. From this data, we can calculate the wind factor and wind potential of a specific site.
Accordingly, the people of Boralex, who had been looking for a site to develop a project, spent a few days walking around the Côte-de-Beaupré region, maps in hand. They came to a locked fence with the letters “SQ” on it and a phone number. They said to themselves: “What is the Sûreté du Québec doing here?”
They called the number, and someone answered, saying: “Good afternoon, Séminaire de Québec!” Aha! SQ stands for Séminaire de Québec! That is how the Boralex team met Jacques Roberge, Superior General at the Séminaire de Québec, which was when everything came together.
Development of the First Two Phases
ATo help them carry out their projects, Boralex asked Energir to partner with them in developing wind farms. Jointly, they developed and built the first two phases, fleets 2 and 3 (phase 1) and fleet 4 (phase 2), which then totalled 340 MW with 254 wind turbines. In 2013, the construction of the farms was the largest construction site in the Capitale-Nationale region.
Côte-de-Beaupré Community Wind Farm Development
Concurrent with the development of the first 2 phases, in 2007, Boralex initiated talks with the La Côte-de-Beaupré RCM about creating a community wind farm with 10 wind turbines totalling 24 MW.
What is a community wind farm? This is a project developed in collaboration with the municipality or regional county municipality (RCM) in which a project is located. As such, the municipality or RCM becomes a financial partner in the project, which enables it to receive a share of the revenue generated by the farm, in proportion to its financial participation in the project.
In the case of the Côte de Beaupré Wind Farm, the La Côte-de-Beaupré RCM has a 49% stake, which allows it to receive nearly 50% of the revenue the wind farm generates.