Nova Scotia government launches ambitious plan to develop offshore wind sector – CBC.ca
Prime Minister Tim Houston says it is time for Canada to catch up with other countries on offshore wind development and he wants Nova Scotia to lead that effort.
“Think about the coastlines we have in this country and we don’t have offshore wind production right now,” Houston told reporters on Tuesday after an announcement in Dartmouth.
“I’m focused on changing that problem and I’m focused on Nova Scotia being a leader to change that.”
Houston announced the county’s goal to lease five gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, with the goal of supporting the emerging green hydrogen sector.
For context, the generation capacity of the entire power grid of the province is currently 2.5 gigawatts. “It’s certainly ambitious, but it’s very possible,” Houston said.
“We want to make that happen.”
Projects intended to help the green hydrogen sector
While the province continues to pursue onshore wind projects to help meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets and increase the use of renewable energy sources, Tuesday’s announcement is focused entirely on what the prime minister described as “a race against the world” to create a to develop the green hydrogen industry .
Wind turbines generate electricity that is lost if it cannot be added to an energy reservoir. That’s why proponents of green hydrogen support the use of offshore electricity to create hydrogen gas that can be stored, transported and then converted back to electricity using fuel cells or hydrogen-powered turbines.
The Secretary of Natural Resources and Renewable Energy, Tory Rushton, said the county is well positioned in that effort because of its natural gas transmission system, pre-existing infrastructure and natural geographic advantages. Interest is centered on the Canso Strait area, Rushton told reporters.
“There are natural deep ports, existing industrial space and important connections to pipelines and transmission infrastructure,” he said.
Regulatory changes required
The province hopes to launch its first call for bids in 2025, but needs a new regulatory regime provided by updated federal and provincial rules before that can happen.
Halifax MP Andy Fillmore said the regulations currently administered by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) are outdated and need to be amended to reflect today’s energy technology, global energy needs, community licensing and environmental concerns.
Fillmore said the federal changes should be filed this fall and could be next summer, though that’s not a certainty.
One of the changes will be to rename the CNSOPB. Fillmore said there is a good chance the board, under its new name, can handle offshore wind development.
“I think they are very well positioned,” he said.
‘Huge’ untapped potential
David Timm, Global Head of Public Affairs for Northland Power Inc., a Canadian owner/operator of offshore wind projects, said Tuesday’s announcement is “a great start” in helping the region compete with other jurisdictions already involved in the development of offshore wind energy.
“This is comparable to the scale of projects in Europe that we see and in Asia,” he told reporters.
Timm said the untapped opportunity across the Atlantic is “huge.” He said turbines currently being produced for offshore projects are in the 14 megawatt range and the technology is rapidly evolving to create floating foundations that will operate in deeper waters.
“Where this industry needs to go and the amount of green energy we need to make the transition we need to make, we need to push to those other sources.”
Houston is scheduled to attend a wind energy conference in Germany later this month, where he said he will promote the region’s potential for green hydrogen exports.
MORE TOP STORIES
Adblock test (Why?)