NL aims to build new wind farms in 2023

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T.-N.-L. aims to build new wind farms by 2023

Since last April, the provincial government has allowed companies to produce renewable energy for their own consumption or for export.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador aims to grant permits for the construction of new wind farms in the second quarter of 2023, just one year after dropping a moratorium on wind power production.

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The province unveiled on Tuesday the process for obtaining a permit to use Crown land, but also promised that new regulations, including framing the distance between residences and turbines , will be developed in the coming months.

[These projects] could go ahead in the second quarter [of 2023], but we must not forget the environmental assessment that would also be necessary, says Andrew Parsons, provincial minister of Industry, Energy and Technology.

According to the government, more than 10 companies are considering building wind farms in Newfoundland and Labrador today. Most companies want to build wind farms to produce green hydrogen, which would then be exported outside the province.

There are companies that give us some fairly small projects and others give us some projects that would blow your mind, Parsons says, without giving further details.

Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology of Newfoundland and Labrador, at a press conference Tuesday in Saint John.

Since On April 5, the government no longer banned wind power generation, a policy that had been in place since 2007 to ensure that hydroelectricity produced at the Muskrat Falls Dam had a market. The project cost taxpayers more than $13 billion, nearly double the bill estimated a decade ago.

The Liberals want to allow companies to produce renewable energy for their own consumption or for export, and believe that the construction and maintenance of wind turbines will stimulate the local economy.

By betting on the creation of new wind farms, they hope to take advantage of the energy transition of countries like Germany, which wants to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas. Andrew Parsons says he has had several fruitful discussions with the German government in recent months.

Mr. Parsons believes that lifting the moratorium on wind power should not hurt Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity consumption.

For the most part, we talk to companies that want to produce ammonia,” said the minister. There are companies that will produce wind energy for their own consumption, […] but it is envisaged that the majority of the energy will be exported.

Under the process unveiled on Tuesday, companies aiming to build wind turbines will be able to suggest, until October 1, parcels of land to be included in a call for tenders that will take place in December. Permits could be granted in the second quarter of 2023, according to Andrew Parsons.

As part of this process, companies will need to detail the proposed project and the land they wish to occupy. They will also have to participate in an environmental assessment.

Andrew Parsons indicates that the government is currently setting the rules governing royalties. According to the government, the construction of wind farms is generally spread over a period of three years. The production can last about 30 years.

Currently, only one wind project is undergoing an environmental assessment. The World Energy GH2 consortium aims to build 160 wind turbines in the Port-au-Port peninsula, in the west of the island, and manufacture green hydrogen and ammonia at a plant in Stephenville.< /p>

Many residents fear the possible environmental impacts of this $2.7 billion wind project, but others point to the thousands of direct and indirect jobs that would be created.

Andrew Parsons is reassuring and says the province is setting rules on the minimum distance between turbines and residences.

People shouldn't worry, he believes.

Residents can give their opinion on the World Energy GH2 project until Wednesday. Environment and Climate Change Minister Bernard Davis says he intends to decide on the future of the project by August 5.

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