TechnoCentre éolien: wind in the blades for 15 years!
Organization: TechnoCentre éolien
Program: Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP)
Financial assistance helped with: the organization’s start-up and its development for 15 years.
Gaspésie and the Magdalen Islands: the originator of wind energy in Quebec
With the first experiments in wind energy having been on the Magdalen Islands and then at Cap-Chat, the Gaspésie region and its TechnoCentre éolien (TCE) located in Gaspé have had a lot of wind in their blades, sometimes strong and icy!
In fact, it was in 1977 on the Magdalen Islands that the region’s first wind turbine was built, on a vertical axis and with a power of 230 KW. Ten years later, the experimental Éole project was built in Cap-Chat, using a 4 MW vertical-axis wind turbine with a rotor height of 96 metres.
As for the TCE itself, it was established in 2000, in partnership with private companies and the Cégep of Gaspésie and the Islands, along with financial support from Canada Economic Development. It is now recognized as a college centre for technology transfer (CCTT) with the mission to support the development of the wind energy industry through applied research and technical assistance to companies and organizations.
The TechnoCentre éolien today: a benchmark!
Today, the TCE has 22 employees and has developed and strengthened numerous collaborations with international partners, particularly in the field of cold climate wind energy. Various efforts on the issues of frost detection and forecasting, frost protection systems, ice blasts, low-temperature wind farm operation, wind energy/diesel pairing and micro-grids, among others, have led to numerous scientific publications.
The TCE has its own research infrastructures, including a site with two 2.05 MW wind turbines, two meteorological towers 126 metres high, and a new dynamic, intelligent micro-grid for combining wind energy, diesel and other energy sources into an independent grid. Those infrastructures are installed at Rivière-au-Renard, near Gaspé, at 330 metres of altitude where the winds blow 7.9 metres/second on average.
Those human and physical resources enable the TCE to play an increasingly large and credible role in the Quebec and international wind energy industry, and to provide fee-based services that now enable it to produce internally generated funds representing over 43% of its total revenues, which has been increasing over the past few years.
Canada Economic Development: a partner since the beginning
Canada Economic Development (CED) participated financially in the creation of the TechnoCentre éolien 15 years ago and has always supported its operation.
[translation] “CED has always been an essential strategic partner in our development and that of Gaspésie and the Islands, and we hope it continues to support us for a long time. We have excellent wind in our blades, and that is our strength!” concluded its Chairman of the Board, Mr. Normand Bouchard.
Current projects of the TechnoCentre éolien
- Continuing with cold-climate work and partnerships with international research committees
- Involvement in the International Energy Agency’s committee on using LIDAR in wind energy
- Coaching companies in developing services and components for operating wind turbines
- Research work on micro-grids and their multiple applications, particularly for the mining industry and decentralized production
- Coaching companies in adapting technologies
- Helping Quebec companies integrate wind energy industry supply chains
- Organizing trade missions in Canada and the United States for developing new export markets
- Organizing the annual Quebec Wind Energy Conference
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