Canada, Environmental, North America, Small Hydro

Partners agree to construct 7.5-MW Innavik Project in northern Quebec, Canada

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., the Pituvik Landholding Corporation and Hydro-Quebec have agreed to build the 7.5-MW Innavik Project, a run-of-river hydroelectric generating station on the Inukjuak River near Inukjuak, Nunavik, in northern Quebec.

The Innavik Project, an initiative of Pituvik, is in line with Hydro-Quebec’s strategy to convert off-grid systems to cleaner and less costly energy sources. This project will provide customers of Inukjuak’s off-grid system with clean and renewable energy. The project will reduce hydrocarbon consumption by over 80% and greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 tonnes over 40 years, Hydro-Quebec says.

Innergex will oversee the construction and operation of the generating station, valued at about $125 million, with Pituvik as a 50% partner. A 40-year power purchase agreement was signed with Hydro-Quebec, providing for the payment of a fixed annual amount in return for guaranteed contracted energy and capacity. The project will result in annual reductions of 20% in Hydro-Québec’s operating costs. The projected adjusted EBITDA for the Innavik Project’s first full year of operation is about $9 million.

“Innergex has entered into many partnerships with local and Indigenous communities to develop renewable energy projects and we are proud to have concluded our first partnership with an Inuit community in connection with the Innavik Project,” said Michel Letellier, president and chief executive pfficer of Innergex. “This will be the first generating station built for an off-grid system in a remote community to help their transition from diesel to hydroelectricity.”

Site preparation should begin in the fourth quarter of 2019 and construction will begin in 2020. The generating station should begin serving the community toward late 2022.

The Innavik Project will be a catalyst for growth in this Inuit community of 1,800 on the coast of Hudson Bay. It will create local jobs during construction and operation while enabling economic diversification. The revenue generated by the facility will enable the community to set up local support programs for youth and elders, to develop local initiatives to improve social well-being in the community, and to support entrepreneurship.

A key component of the project is a program to convert fuel-fired water and space heating systems to electricity. This will maximize the use of renewable electricity by the entire community of Inukjuak — over 480 homes.

“Switching to hydropower will enable us to replace diesel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for our basic electricity and heating needs, while saving on fuel costs,” said Eric Atagotaaluk, President of Pituvik. “This is good for the planet and the newly-available green electricity will bring sustainable development opportunities for our community.”

Innergex is an independent renewable power producer that develops, acquires, owns and operates hydroelectric facilities, wind farms and solar farms.

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