Beothuk Energy Inc. has announced its preferred site for a proposed demonstration offshore wind farm in Canada.
Beothuk wants to build and operate the project in St. George's Bay in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). The developer, which is based in the province, says the wind farm would consist of up to 30 turbines generating 180 MW, cost approximately C$400 million and be fully funded through private investment.
If successful, the project would be among the first generation of North American offshore wind farms. Offshore wind is being proposed in other Canadian provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario. However, the Ontario government issued a moratorium on offshore wind development in 2011, citing the need to further study the technology.
According to the company, the St. George's Bay site has shallow water depths of less than 50 meters, offers world-class winds, is outside major shipping lanes and bird migration routes, and would be close to the company's proposed Corner Brook manufacturing facilities and proposed service port at Port Harmon, Stephenville, NL.
The company claims that the project fits in with a 2012 NL government resolution to grant and provide open access to the province's energy corridors. The proposed wind farm must undergo various assessments and evaluations by government departments and agencies before start-up operations can begin, Beothuk notes. The company has requested an investigative permit from the provincial government for the proposed offshore location.
"Beothuk looks forward to working with all interest groups and regulatory agencies to develop this exciting new green industry," says Kirby Mercer, president and CEO of Beothuk. "Our intention is to make western NL a North American Center of Excellence for offshore wind manufacturing, staging and servicing. With political will and regional cooperation, we expect to create up to 600 direct jobs in western NL, and there will be substantial business opportunities for local companies at all tiers of the supply chain."