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Stormy meeting for TES Canada wind turbine project

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar27,2024


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The room was crowded and opponents of the project were numerous and made a lot of noise on Tuesday evening.

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The CEO of TES Canada, Éric Gauthier, has committed to returning to the drawing board to improve the social acceptability of his project after a series of meetings with the public in Mauricie which were marked by a crowd partly hostile to the project.

More than 200 citizens and most of the mayors of the MRC des Chenaux traveled to Saint-Narcisse Tuesday evening to attend the assemblies on the TES Canada wind turbine project.

For more than two hours, in a tense atmosphere, the president of TES Canada, Éric Gauthier, as well as other experts answered questions or received criticism from citizens unhappy to see this project potentially arrive in the Mauricie landscape.

Several citizens opposed to the project also traveled to Sainte-Thècle on Monday before attending Tuesday's meeting.

The issues of noise, protection of agricultural land, dismantling, social acceptability, and profitability of the project were recurring themes.

A citizen asked to move the project elsewhere in an uninhabited area.

Where the shoe pinches, that's why are you come impose wind turbines on us, in an inhabited environment, where no one asked for them, where people are happy and at peace?, asked Mireille Picard, who lives in Saint-Maurice.

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The tension reached its height at the end of the session, while a man s He advanced, visibly angry, towards Mr. Gauthier, he insulted him, telling him no wind turbines here!.

In front the protest, Mr. Gauthier committed to going back to the drawing board in order to improve the social acceptability of the project. Several versions of the project will be presented, he assures.

He did not rule out changing the size of the wind turbines or their location. But he is keen to carry out the project in Mauricie because, he says, of its strategic location between Quebec and Montreal.

The TES Canada project in Mauricie aims to install 140 wind turbines in the Mékinac and Chenaux MRCs in order to power an electrolyser that would produce green hydrogen in Shawinigan.

The leader of the Climat Québec political party and former PQ Minister of Natural Resources Martine Ouellet was on site. She followed Mr. Gauthier's heels because she wanted to know the list of customers willing to pay for natural gas made using hydrogen. A fuel, according to her and experts, much more expensive than that produced with fossil energy.

In an interview Wednesday morning, Ms. Ouellet underlined the involvement of citizens who came to ask questions.

There is a citizen desire to better understand the project by asking questions. But unfortunately, there were a lot of non-answers. And the tape that came up several times, they tried to dodge several questions, she said.

The CEO of TES Canada responded that everything will go through Énergir to supply industrialists and that he did not have a list of confirmed customers. Ms. Ouellet reiterated on several occasions that the project would not be viable in her opinion.

With information from Raphaël Brouillette< /p>

Martine Ouellet in an interview on the showAlways le matin

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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