The bids were filed before 30 September 2002, and the evaluation process has just been completed.

Hydro-Québec Production has selected three sites, which represent a total capacity of 75MW, or 337GWh of energy at an average price of 4.3 cents per kW/hr.

‘The projects we have selected are good projects and are competitive,’ said Daniel Garant, managing director – wholesale markets and projects development, with Hydro-Québec Production.

Of the 14 publicly owned sites that were eligible for leasing, nine were covered by the call for tenders. Seven of these sites were of interest to private promoters.

The selected bidders are:

• Magpie dam (Magpie river, municipality of Rivière-Saint-Jean, Minganie RCM). Bidder: Hydroméga Services Inc. Capacity: 38MW

• Matawin dam (Taureau reservoir, municipality of Baie-de-la-Bouteille, Matawinie RCM). Bidder: Innergex II Inc. Capacity: 12MW

• Courbe du Sault (Sheldrake river, municipality of Rivière-au-Tonnerre, Minganie RCM). Bidder: Groupe Axor Inc. Capacity: 25MW

The electricity purchase contracts between these producers and Hydro-Québec Production will be signed at the beginning of 2003. The hydro power facilities are expected to be commissioned for commercial operation in 2005-2006. The promoters are responsible for obtaining all the required government and environmental authorisations.

Each project is governed by Section 31 of the Environment Quality Act, which provides for impact assessment studies and, where appropriate, public hearings by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).

The call for tenders followed the Québec government’s publication of a list of selected sites, in accordance with its plan for the allocation and use of publicly owned water resources for small hydroelectric generating stations of 50MW or less.