Recent Developments in Renewable Energy in Remote Aboriginal Communities, Quebec, Canada

Konstantinos Karanasios, Paul Parker


Northern Quebec’s 14 remote aboriginal communities are dispersed through the land of Nunavik and are entirely reliant on diesel for their electricity needs. This paper reviews Nunavik communities’ electrical systems, past renewable electricity projects, as well as available renewable resources for electricity generation. One renewable project was installed in Kuujjuaq in 1986, but despite the availability of wind and hydroelectricity resources, there were no subsequent renewable electricity installations in Nunavik. However, the need for alternatives to diesel powered electricity is recognized and communities are examining two options: the potential connection to the provincial grid to access reliable and clean electricity and the integration of renewable applications into local community diesel systems. The success of the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm partnership with Mi’gmaq communities in Gaspe, and the Raglan Mine community scale wind turbine, combined with falling storage prices and technological advancements in controller design, could provide an opportunity for the development of high penetration wind projects in locations with high wind regimes, including some of Nunavik’s aboriginal communities.

Keywords: Quebec, remote aboriginal communities, indigenous communities, renewable electricity, community ownership, wind projects

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