Beothuk Energy (BEI) and Iron & Earth (I&E) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) reflecting their shared interests in offshore wind energy development across the Atlantic region.
BEI is proposing six offshore wind farms in Atlantic Canada with a combined capacity totaling more than 4 GW. I&E is a worker-led group that began operations when oil prices turned lower in 2015. Their mandate is to provide oil and gas workers with the training and opportunities needed to transition into renewable, clean energy sectors. I&E represents a workers’ movement in action against climate change.
BEI has identified the underutilized skilled labor in the Atlantic region – largely drawn from the existing oil and gas sector – as significant to its strategy. This partnership with I&E is expected to further facilitate the apprenticeships and retraining necessary for oil and gas workers to move into the offshore wind sector.
The purpose of the MOU reflects the opportunities to be found in “the supply and operation” of BEI’s projects in order to maximize the benefits from all aspects of BEI’s business to I&E’s members. Both parties have paid close attention to the industry shift from oil and gas into offshore wind in Europe, which has included displaced, skilled oil and gas workers; related supply-chain industries; and executives at all levels.
As BEI expects to create approximately 10 jobs for each megawatt produced and has stated the combined power of all of the Atlantic Canadian projects totals 4,000+ MW, the projects have the potential to dramatically change the face of the energy industry and especially employment in this part of the continent. I&E has identified the employment opportunities promised by BEI’s projects, and both groups are keen to explore the synergies between the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind sectors.