Skip to content.

Solar Sunrise: Quebec to Launch First Solar RFP

As Québec takes steps toward diversifying its energy portfolio and increase its long-term energy supplies, the Québec Government announced on March 26, 2024 that it would set aside a block of 300 MW for an upcoming solar energy procurement by Hydro-Québec.

This new solar RFP translates the Québec government’s desire to lay the foundations for a Quebec solar industry by better understanding how solar energy compares with other energy sources, such as wind, in terms of cost and project viability, and how solar energy could be a path towards greater innovation.

While Hydro-Québec’s 2023-2032 Supply Plan emphasizes the need for additional energy supplies by 2027 to meet Québec’s growing energy demands, few details had been provided until now on the role of solar energy in meeting these goals. There are currently no significant solar projects developed or in development in the Province, by either Hydro-Québec or private producers. As of 2022, solar power accounted for a modest 22 MW of energy production capacity in the Province, with Hydro-Québec operating two experimental photovoltaic plants with a combined output of 9.5 MW.

The RFP is expected to favour solar facilities to be located in urban areas as they tend to benefit from better connectivity to Hydro-Quebec's transmission and distribution network. More specifically, the Québec Government indicated the RFP would be designed to favour projects which could make use of existing infrastructure, such as large rooftops, parking lots, and urban brownfields, and thus minimizing environmental impacts.

Another stated goal for the RFP is to favour the development of local energy sources and reduce reliance on Hydro-Quebec’s transmission network – which would be reserved for larger-scale projects such as wind farms.

Initial details of the RFP were released in a draft order-in-council published in the Gazette officielle du Québec. The draft order-in-council would require that 100 megawatts be connected to the Hydro-Québec network by December 31, 2029, and 200 megawatts by December 31, 2032. Hydro-Quebec would hold two calls for tenders, one by December 31, 2024 (100 MW), and the other by December 31, 2026 (200 MW).

The Québec Government indicated it would be soliciting public comments for a period of 45 days, and which it would consider during drafting of the final regulation.

Our team at McCarthy Tétrault closely follows new developments in Quebec RFPs. If you would like more information about this and other energy matters here in Québec, we are here to help. Please contact Louis-Nicolas BoulangerMathieu LeBlancJacob Stone or Xin Gao or any other member of the energy group at McCarthy Tétrault with any questions or for assistance.




Stay Connected

Get the latest posts from this blog

Please enter a valid email address