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The Winds of Opportunity

The Winds of Opportunity

It is amazing how quickly fall has come upon us, and I hope everyone had the opportunity to enjoy a restful and fun summer. The weather this year made me appreciate how amazing our summers can be.

Recently, members of the Energy NL Board of Directors and staff visited the Port of Argentia to get a better understanding of the many exciting opportunities occurring there. From MOUs with renewable energy companies to the creation of a joint venture company, Argentia is taking full advantage of its strategic location and incredible infrastructure. CEO Scott Penney provided a tour of the site and outlined plans the port has to maximize its advantages and be a leader in the Newfoundland and Labrador energy sector. I always appreciate the opportunity to meet with members, understand their facilities and capabilities, and more broadly, learn more about the strengths of our sector.

While in Argentia, SDP provided us with an opportunity to tour the inside of the Concrete Gravity Structure (CGS) being built onsite. Even though there is a lot of work remaining, including another slip pour of approximately 100 metres, the CGS is truly impressive; I would call it an engineering marvel. We should all be proud that such a facility is being constructed in Argentia, at a purpose-built graving dock. The facility is a true testament to the skills of our workforce, and I understand it is the tallest dry build in the world for this type of structure. Thanks to both Scott Penney and Stephanie Gruchy for arranging the visits, along with the SDP and Cenovus Energy staff onsite for their hospitality as we toured the CGS.

In the latter part of August, I was pleased to be invited to attend a dinner in Toronto hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss wind and hydrogen potential for Canada and partnerships with Germany. A number of renewable energy industry members and government officials were in attendance and a fascinating discussion about our country’s energy potential occurred. The following day I attended the hydrogen expo in Stephenville where the governments of Canada and Germany signed the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Accord. Attending both events illustrated for me the vast potential of our wind and hydrogen resources and I believe Newfoundland and Labrador will play a leading role in the partnership established with Germany.

A few days later, I attended the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) 2022 conference in Stavanger, Norway with a number of Energy NL members. This conference is a world-class event and there was lots of discussion about the energy evolution and how oil and gas producing areas, such as Norway and Newfoundland and Labrador, have an opportunity to be global leaders. Once again, ONS proved to be an exceptional learning experience with many connections made and experiences to build on.

Closer to home, the crown lands nomination process for potential onshore wind developments recently closed and the provincial government received 31 nominations as part of the Nominations of Areas of Interest. In the coming weeks we expect to learn more about the next steps of the process and criteria for the December 15 competitive call for bids. This is an exciting time as several companies have expressed interest in establishing wind and wind-to-hydrogen facilities in the province. Energy NL has had very positive discussions with a number of these potential developers, and we are impressed with their background and experience, along with their proposed approaches to developing this resource. Of course, we continue to express the importance of Energy NL members having full and fair opportunity to be a part of the renewable energy supply chain, and that advocacy will continue as this sector advances in Newfoundland and Labrador.

And while we are looking forward to the opportunities the wind energy sector will bring to our province, we recently saw the damage wind and storm surge can inflict upon our communities. Our thoughts are certainly with the people of Western Newfoundland and the Maritimes, and, on behalf of all Energy NL members, I offer sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the woman who lost her life during Hurricane Fiona. Much work remains to help our communities recover and should you wish to help, please visit the Red Cross website to find out how.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving!