Beothuk seeks Canada offshore pilot

Beothuk Energy is proposing to develop utility-scale offshore wind farms to supply Atlantic Canada and the US Northeast, with the first step a C$400m ($388.8m) 180MW pilot project to be located in Canadian waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Beothuk, based in St. John’s and Corner Brook in Newfoundland and Labrador province, estimates 30 turbines could generate electricity for less than 10 cents per kWh.

The little-known company says it intends to manufacture, supply, and operate offshore wind energy projects using gravity based structures as foundations. It contends that those structures are proven lower risk and cost, and more versatile.

These would be manufactured in Corner Brook, a small port city located in western Newfoundland Island.  Beothuk says that Corner Brook is an efficient deepwater port located next to major energy markets of the United States and Canada with a skilled labor force with technical expertise.

 In a press release published by The Western Star, the company says along with the port authority it is now in the evaluation and preplanning stages of identifying a suitable port location to assemble wind turbines, and manufacture and assemble foundation pieces.

"It is our intention to use our innovative business model, coordinating technologies, economics, and environmental disciplines to establish a new industry that will sustain growth for the west coast of Newfoundland,” says Beothuk chief executive Kirby Mercer. He adds that offshore wind energy will contribute to a healthier green environment.

Despite having the largest coastline of any country, Canada has struggled to develop an offshore wind industry. Ontario abruptly suspended development in the Great Lakes, citing a need for more environmental study on the impact of placing turbines in fresh water.

The Naikun project off British Columbia has suffered various delays.