“Hydro Quebec wants to be a world model for the safe integration of wind and hydro in a major electricity system” says Louis-Olivier Batty, spokesperson from Hydro-Quebec.

To prevent power variations in the grid, intermittent renewables such as wind need to be matched with flexible base load sources, which can be adjusted quickly along with the change in weather patterns.

Sean Whittaker said that such load-balancing techniques are not easy to achieve with coal or nuclear plants because their power output can’t be changed.

The Quebec government has asked private energy companies to supply 4,500 MW of wind power by 2015, similar to 10% of the province’s energy supply.