Offshore Wind and Hydrogen | Canada

The community may welcome and update on developments in my world of offshore wind and hydrogen in Canada.

Nova Scotia has become the first province in Canada to set out ambitions to build industrial-scale wind power plant off its shores, with its premier today (Tuesday) outlining plans to bring 5GW online by decade’s-end to support development of green hydrogen production in the country’s maritime region.

Flagship leases for offshore wind arrays in the Canadian Atlantic will be awarded through a competitive auction to be shepherded by the provincial and federal governments, with expectations of a first call for bids in 2025.

Since visiting a west – east sweep of the country and delivering training in Calgary, I’ve tracked the situation there noted how many of the investors especially in Toronto, get the green agenda and are quite happy to find suitable opportunities in which to invest.

When I was there, most of the focus was on the Bay of Fundy. It seems to have been around forever in a tidal resource aspect and also off the coast of Vancouver and nascent signs of offshore wind and possibly hydrogen emerging.

Since then, the direction of travel is gravitated more to the east coast the Nova Scotia we’ve had a number of chats with key stakeholders.

Things seem to be emerging a number of reasons for this, including the geopolitical – with recent discussions between the Prime Minister Trudeau and the German leader, Olaf Schultz, and also the war in the Ukraine to focus people’s minds.

It was interesting to read how the Bay of Fundy and Newfoundland are linking up to the United States main offshore wind rounds which have already shared with us and right down indeed down the eastern seaboard to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Canada has vast space and resource and when I was there, I was looking at with developers working on things such as data centres, which will be powered

from renewable sources in northern Alberta with wind and solar combining.

Initial indications as depicted in the image at the top are of a substantial 2000 GW plus fixed offshore potential but a remarkable 7,200 GW floating wind capability.  Given the advancement in the field and the announcement US Floating Wind shot from their southern neighbour that represents a significant global prize.

The largest operational electrolyser in the world operates at a hydro facility in Quebec and a number of prominent sectoral companies are Canadian. Hydrogen has gained traction since those times and now it offers something of a missing link filling in the variability gaps of renewable energy and its versatility proving so useful in linking the various sectors such as transport, where German Rail advanced advances indicates that there might be something happening on the Canadian Pacific Railway , a vast undertaking 1000s of miles along where locomotives are being trialled.

As we see from the wind map Canada’s excellent wind resource but comes with challenges as was already discovered with the Vancouver offshore wind farm, which has gone much slower than originally anticipated, perhaps by the combination of hydrogen might make the business case more attractive and see life breathed into the West Coast situation.

So, good luck to Canada. I enjoyed giving a presentation to the  canadian-hydrogen-working-group-innovation-offshore-wind-and-hydrogen couple of years ago and a market I’m following with great interest.

Stay informed at the experts group: Hydrogen Canada

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