The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) has released a study identifying the supply chain associated with offshore wind energy development and analyzing the capacity within the province to meet development requirements.
NEIA is a nonprofit association of businesses promoting the development of clean technology in Newfoundland and Labrador. The new study was preceded by a request for information from NEIA for firms in the province to self-identify their relative capabilities in offshore wind.
Emerging from this process – complemented by research – were strengths in areas of direct importance to offshore wind energy development, such as geotechnical services, health and safety, research and education, environmental engineering and consulting, ocean technologies, monitoring and modeling, and legal expertise.
“There are many similarities between the needs of an offshore oil and gas industry and those of an offshore wind energy industry,” notes Kieran Hanley, NEIA’s executive eirector.
The report summarizes that Newfoundland and Labrador’s 30-year history operating in offshore environments provides a solid foundation for the support of any future offshore wind industry, according to NEIA.
“As the cost of renewable energy development continues to decrease and the importance of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions continues to increase, we believe that new offshore wind energy projects on this side of the Atlantic Ocean are likely,” says Hanley. “With the expertise we have developed through our offshore oil and gas industry, we are well positioned to participate in those developments – if we are adequately prepared.
“The possibility represents an opportunity for our firms to diversify their activities, and some proactive investigation is prudent,” Hanley continues. “How Newfoundland and Labrador can participate in offshore wind energy development, whether it be off our own coastline or elsewhere in the region, merits further study and is deserving of an open discussion with stakeholders.”
Hanley says NEIA will continue working on behalf of its members to quantify opportunities and challenges. The study can be found here.