Cascades and Rackam started work on the ground-level facility in June, installing a powerful concentrated solar power (CSP) system.
Pierre Arcand, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades, and Mathieu Chagnon , President of Rackam, inaugurated the Alain-Lemaire Solar Park, which will supply energy to Cascades’ units in Kingsey Falls .
Cascades and Rackam started work on the ground-level facility in June, installing a powerful concentrated solar power (CSP) system with a surface area of 1490 m 2 on a 4000 m 2 lot, with the aim of reducing the consumption of natural gas used to produce the hot water required for operations at the industrial complex. The project is a first in the pulp and paper industry.
Financing for the $1,073,830 project came in part from a $463,500 grant from the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles du Québec. The funding came from the former Energy Innovation Assistance Program (PAIE), now part of the Technoclimat Program. Gaz Métro was also involved in the project, contributing $76,000 through its Innovation Program.
"The completion of this project is the logical outcome of the vision the Québec government has adopted concerning green energy. We are making significant efforts to support the development of new sources of clean energy, and to encourage the business community to employ these innovative energy-producing technologies. I am proud to see that our efforts are bearing fruit. The project we are inaugurating today demonstrates the skill and ingenuity of Québec entrepreneurs who are moving forward with innovative technologies that will have positive impacts on both our economy and the environment," stated Minister Arcand.
"With the commissioning of the Alain-Lemaire Solar Park, Cascades is once again at the forefront of sustainable development, reaffirming its position as a leader in energy efficiency," said Mario Plourde . "This project, built on the values instilled in the Company by the Lemaire brothers for half a century, will also encourage the new generation of entrepreneurs and the continued development of green technologies. We hope that this initiative will inspire other businesses to follow suit."
"The solar park in Kingsey Falls is the only facility of its kind in Canada , which is proof of Cascades’ leadership and innovative spirit," said Mathieu Chagnon . "Rackam rose to the challenge to successfully develop this new solar technology. The results are extremely satisfying: more than 1490 m 2 of mirrors will produce over 1 MWh per year, allowing the solar park to supply high-quality energy to the Kingsey Falls industrial complex."
The facility will produce more than 4440 GJ a year, which will be used to heat 87 500 m 3 of pressurized water to a temperature of 106 o C to 118 o C, thus saving 139 700 m 3 of natural gas annually.
This reduction in the consumption of natural gas will also allow Cascades plants to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 265 equivalent tonnes of CO 2 per year, or 5300 tonnes of CO 2 over 20 years.
Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres. Cascades employs close to 12 000 women and men, who work in over a hundred production units in North America and Europe . With its management philosophy, half a century of experience in recycling, and continuous efforts in research and development as driving forces, Cascades continues to deliver the innovative products that customers have come to rely on. Cascades’ shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CAS .