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Québec, April 4, 2006 – The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) is holding an information session on the Projet de parc éolien à Carleton-sur-Mer par Cartier énergie éolienne inc. (Windmill park project in Carleton-sur-Mer proposed by Cartier énergie éolienne inc.) This session, which the proponent will be attending, will be hosted by a representative of the BAPE and will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2006, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at Salle Charles-Dugas, 47, rue Comeau, Carleton-sur-Mer. The purpose of the information session is to allow citizens to obtain information on the project, the environmental impact assessment study and review procedure, the public consultation process, as well as the role of the BAPE. This information session is being held as part of the mandate entrusted to the BAPE by Mr . Claude Béchard, Minister of Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs. The BAPE must make available to the public the impact assessment study and entire file related to the project. The public information and consultation period begins today April 4th and will end on May 19, 2006 .

It is during this 45-day period that citizens, groups, municipalities or organizations can submit a request for public hearing to the Minister of Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs. If necessary, a commission of the BAPE could be mandated to make inquiry on the project and to consult the public on this subject.

Where can the project documentation be consulted?

Citizens can learn more about the project by consulting the impact assessment study prepared by the proponent and the other documents describing the project and, among other things, its repercussions on the environment. Starting today and until May 19, 2006, these documents can be consulted at the BAPE office in Québec, the Bibliothèque centrale of the Université du Québec à Montréal, as well as on the BAPE website at, under the heading “mandats en cours”. The entire file is also available at the following locations:

  • Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Bernard-Dubé, 774, boul. Perron, Carleton-sur-Mer;
  • Bibliothèque municipale de Maria, 65, des Voltigeurs, Maria ;
  • Listuguj Training Development Centre, 2, rue Pacific, Listuguj.

What is the role of citizens?

Citizens are invited to examine the file, to act as experts in their community by underscoring the issues related to the project, to ask questions during the information session, and to record their comments in the registers opened for this purpose at the consultation centres.

What rights do citizens have?

Any person, group, organization or municipality wishing to obtain additional information or clarifications, to obtain the opinion of experts on the project or to make known their opinions and position regarding the project can submit a request for public hearing during the public information and consultation period. This request must be sent in writing no later than May 19, 2006 to Mr. Claude Béchard, Minister of Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs , 675, boulevard René-Lévesque Est, 30e étage, Québec (Québec) G1R 5V7. The applicant must indicate the reasons for his request and his interest in relation to the milieu affected by the project.

The project

The project of Cartier énergie éolienne inc., a private corporation belonging to TransCanada and Innergex II, consists of creating a windmill park with an installed capacity of 109.5 MW, capable of producing about 350 GWh of electricity annually . This project was selected by Hydro-Québec in 2004 following the issue of a call for tenders for the production of 1000 MW. The setting up of 73 windmills having a capacity of 1.5 MW each is planned on the territory of the Regional County Municipality of Bonaventure and the RCM of Avignon in Baie-des-Chaleurs. The Municipality of Carleton-sur-Mer would receive 65 windmills, while eight windmills would be erected on the unorganized territory of Rivière Bonaventure. The windmills would basically be built in wooded areas on public lands. The project also includes the construction of 23.7 kilometres of new access roads and the use of 35.6 kilometres of existing roads. The electrical grid, in large part underground, would converge on a transformer station located at the heart of the windmill park. A 230 kV power transmission line, measuring 10 kilometres in length, could be built by Hydro-Québec in the summer of 2008 to connect the windmill park to Hydro-Québec’s transmission network. Work would begin in the spring of 2007 and would span a two-year period. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $170 million, 60% of which would be invested locally, as stipulated in the agreement with Hydro-Québec. The contract for the purchase of electricity by Hydro-Québec is for a 20-year period. At the end of this contract and in the event that it is not renewed, all of the above-ground equipment would be dismantled and removed from the site.

Repercussions anticipated by the proponent and mitigation measures proposed in the impact study

According to the proponent, the project’s main environmental impacts would concern the landscape, the sound environment, avian wildlife and bats, as well as telecommunication systems. The presence of windmills would modify the landscape, particularly for vacationers at Lac Sansfaçon. No mitigation measure is envisaged given that the windmill sites would have been optimized following public consultations. The sound level associated with the operation of the windmills could be considered a disturbance, although a distance of 500 metres from every dwelling has been maintained. The presence of windmills could also result in the death by collision of a certain number of birds or bats, or modify their behaviour as it relates to the occupation of the territory. To reduce the risks of collision, the proponent is examining the possibility of installing white marker lights that would flash during the day. With a view to attenuating the sources of disturbance, most of the clearing work should be done outside the nesting period. As for the possibilities of interference with telecommunication systems, the proponent is planning a compensation program to improve the reception antennas of the homes affected. Moreover, the carrying out of the project would require the clearing of 142 hectares of forest. The proponent intends to limit the clearing work by harmonizing this work with logging activities. In the event that the site is dismantled, reforestation activities are also planned. During the construction period, the proponent envisages the relocation of certain recreational hiking trails as well as the suspension of work during moose hunting week.

As for the positive repercussions, the project should generate about 110 jobs during the construction phase and about ten jobs for the operation and maintenance of the windmill park. The proponent evaluates the economic spin-offs at about $105 million during the construction phase and at about $3 million per year during the anticipated 20 years of operation.

Persons wishing to obtain more information can get in touch with Julie Olivier at 418 643-7447 or toll-free, at 1 800 463-4732 extension 539, or by e-mail at the following address:

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Source: Julie Olivier, communications advisor, and Sophie Hamel-Dufour, analyst

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