Canada readies offshore wind development
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Canada readies offshore wind development

wind turbine blades on blue cloudy sky background

The governments of Canada, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador have begun regional assessments for offshore wind development.

The main purpose of a regional assessment is to contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of future impact assessments of projects that are subject to Canada’s Impact Assessment Act. The assessment will allow for early analysis of future wind development offshore, as well as its potential environmental, health, social and economic effects and benefits. This will help inform planning and decision-making for future wind projects.

"As Canada advances towards a sustainable and prosperous low-carbon future, we are working with provinces and territories to unlock economic opportunities on the path to net-zero,” said Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The committee overseeing the assessment now has 18 months to complete its work. During this time, it will engage with Indigenous peoples, other organizations and the public, gather and analyze information, and seek advice from advisory groups. It will then prepare a draft Regional Assessment Report for public review and comment, which will be finalized and submitted to the federal and provincial ministers.

There will be two regional assessments for offshore wind development in Atlantic Canada: one in Newfoundland and Labrador and one in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Power plans to auction off 5GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, with the first auctions starting in 2025. After reaching the 5GW target, calls for bids will be based on market opportunities.

“Nova Scotia offers some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, with ample capacity to serve both local and international green hydrogen markets,” said Tory Rushton, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables.

“This regional assessment will give us the knowledge we need to pursue offshore wind as one of many solutions to help fight climate change and grow our green economy. This is a promising opportunity for Nova Scotia."

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