Winds of change blow in Lac-Mégantic

By Diego Creimer, Communications Director, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, with video by Jean-Michel Gaudreault and Alexis Fortin

Throughout Canada, turbines symbolize a shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy.

One wind farm in particular stands at the centre of a contemporary Canadian fossil fuel  disaster, replacing feelings of devastation with hope.

That wind farm is La Coop éolienne du Granit. It is in Saint-Robert-Bellarmin, only a few kilometres north of Lac-Mégantic — a town in southern Quebec known for its starry skies and beautiful mountains. Most Canadians, however, first heard of Lac-Mégantic on July 6, 2013, when a freight train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the city.

Oil is not an energy on which we should base our future.

Maurice Bernier, Prefect, M.R.C du Granit 2005 to 2014 

While the community is still mourning the death of 47 people, La Coop éolienne du Granit has emerged as an inspiration. It’s the most profitable community co-owned wind farm project in Eastern Canada. The 16 municipalities around Lac-Mégantic were facing population declines and struggling with decreasing tax revenues. Now, they’re collecting close to $1 million a year from selling clean energy to Hydro-Québec, the state-owned electricity company.

This is a story of community-led renewable energy replacing fossil fuels — a story of hope rising from the ashes.

Renewable energy is empowering communities across the country. Charged Up is the story of you — of all of us — on a mission for a cleaner, healthier, charged-up Canada.

Get your community charged up with renewables like Lac-Mégantic