The Gaspe Bay Peninsula is home to some of Canada’s highest sustained winds. Not surprisingly, large scale wind farms populate this stretch of the Gulf of St. Lawrence separating Quebec from New Brunswick. However, the Mi’gmaq communities of Listuguj, Gespeg and Gesgapegiag faced an uphill climb to get approval from Hydro Quebec to create their Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm. Located on public lands in the Avignon Regional County Municipality in Québec the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm consists of 47 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 150 megawatts. It generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 30,000 households. Beginning commercial operation in 2016, the project will generate profits of approximately $200 million for the three Mi’gmaq communities over a 20 year period.
Host Melina Laboucan Massimo travels to Listuguj where Nation member Troy Jerome explains why partnering with neighboring Mi’gmaq communities was central to their success in developing their wind farm. Five hours up the Gaspe Bay Peninsula, Melina visits the town of Gaspe where this regions leading research center is helping to grow clean energy opportunities for the next generation of Mi’gmaq people. As the wind farm creates jobs and generates revenue, Melina sees how that money is channeled back into the communities to fund culture and language programs.