Enbridge Eyes New Quebec Wind-Power Investments, CEO Monaco Says

Enbridge Inc., Canada’s largest pipeline operator, is considering additional wind-farm projects in Quebec to take advantage of the province’s strategy to expand renewable-power output, Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said.

Enbridge has invested about C$600 million ($569 million) in Quebec wind in the last few years, “and we plan for more,” Monaco told the Canadian Club of Montreal in a speech today. The Calgary-based company already owns stakes in three wind projects in the province, with a combined capacity of 530 megawatts, according to its website.

Enbridge is expanding its renewable generation business -- which includes wind, solar and geothermal power -- to offset carbon emissions from its bigger fossil-fuel related businesses. Including its Quebec operations, the company owns stakes in 12 wind farms with a combined capacity of 1,549 megawatts.

“We have good partners and we have some good opportunities, so we are hoping we can make more investments in Quebec,” Monaco told reporters after his speech. “It’s one of our key areas.”

He declined to identify projects.

Quebec’s government said earlier this month its state-owned utility, Hydro-Quebec, is seeking to buy 450 additional megawatts of wind energy. The province is targeting 4,000 megawatts of installed wind power capacity by 2015, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association, an industry group.

Enbridge agreed in July to buy 50 percent of an 80-megawatt wind farm in Quebec from Electricite de France SA. The Saint-Robert-Bellarmin Wind Project, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Montreal, delivers electricity to Hydro-Quebec under a 20-year agreement.

“We really think that Quebec is a very strong province to be investing in from a wind perspective,” Monaco said. “That’s because they have objectives to increase and diversify their sources of supply. The wind resource in Quebec is tremendous.”

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