Canada’s Beothuk Energy has laid out plans to build its first offshore wind farm in St. George’s Bay, along the southwestern coast of Newfoundland, and an O&M port in Stephenville, the only town along the Bay.
Beothuk announced plans to privately fund and build a 180MW offshore wind farm
at an unspecified site in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Beothuk has chosen in St. George’s Bay has water depths of less than 50 metres, is
outside of major shipping lanes and bird-migration routes, and is close to a major
transmission corridor, according to the St. John’s-based developer.
requested an investigative permit from the government of Newfoundland and
Labrador province for the proposed location.
C$400m ($364m) proposal could create up to 600 jobs during peak construction,
including 100 out of the O&M base at Port Harmon, Stephenville, the
Key to the
proposal is Beothuk’s plan to establish a manufacturing base for gravity-based
foundations at Corner Brook, some 80km north of Stephenville and the largest
population centre along the western coast of Newfoundland.
foundations, while increasingly rare in the European offshore wind theatre,
feature commonly in eastern Canada’s growing offshore hydrocarbons industry,
and Beothuk envisages a significant “transfer of technologies” between the two
said it will employ turbines rated at 6MW or higher for the project, using
tugboats to transport the various elements to the site.
claims the offshore wind farm will produce electricity at a cost of less than
C$100 ($91) per MWh.
comparison, the UK – the world’s largest offshore wind market – has offered
developers £155 ($260) per MWh in 2014/15, dropping to £140 per MWh in 2018/19.
wind farm itself, the foundations plant, and the O&M base, Beothuk aims to
turn western Newfoundland – a large island jutting out into the Gulf of St.
Lawrence with nearly 500,000 residents – into a “North American centre of
excellence for offshore wind manufacturing, staging and servicing”, says chief
executive Kirby Mercer.
critical element to the proposal is the 500MW high-voltage direct-current
(HVDC) “Maritime Link” transmission route that will enter construction this
year, linking Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, which is part of mainland North
Maritime Link – which includes a 170km subsea section running beneath the Cabot
Strait – is being built with an eye towards linking Labrador’s hydropower
resource to more populous regions in eastern Canada, but it may also benefit
on- and offshore wind developers.
not proposed a timeline for its offshore wind project. The Maritime Link is due
on line in 2017.
project go ahead, it may become the first offshore wind farm in Canadian
waters, given the ongoing legal uncertainties plaguing Trillium Power’s
proposed developments in Lake Ontario.