Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP) says it has won a contract to lead both early and late-stage development for what could become Canada’s first offshore wind project – a 180MW array in St. Georges Bay west of Newfoundland.
COP did not release terms of the deal awarded by Danish fund manager Copenhagen Investment Partners (CIP), which last September announced it would invest all capital required to build the facility in partnership with Beothuk Energy, based in the provincial capital of St. John’s.
COP says it will oversee development jointly with Beothuk until finalisation of a power purchase agreement, and then lead the project to financial close and through the construction phase in cooperation with the local company. It was not immediately clear when construction would begin.
Beothuk has talked with potential buyers for the electricity in several Canadian provinces and New England region in the US. It has not set a deadline for completing a power off-take arrangement.
St. George’s Bay could take advantage of Emera’s Maritime Link, a high-voltage subsea transmission project under construction that will connect Newfoundland for the first time with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the six-state ISO New England market. It will enable export of 500MW of renewable power.
Beothuk has eyed the US state of Massachusetts as a possible market, which now has a legal mandate to procure 1.6GW of offshore wind energy by 2027. Later this month, electric utilities there are expected to release an offshore wind request for proposals for as much as 800MW of initial capacity, with winners to be announced next year.
CIP, however, is expected to submit supply bids itself after acquiring a strategically located 1GW zone facing the Massachusetts coast last year. In May, it sold a 50% stake in the Vineyard Wind project to Avangrid Renewables.
Beothuk says St. George’s Bay will supply electricity to more than 150,000 households, create more than 500 jobs during the construction phase and establish a new industry in Atlantic Canada.
Beothuk, which has been developing the project since 2011, has held talks with Siemens for supply of unspecified turbines, but no firm contracts have been signed. It lists Siemens as a “strategic partner” on its website.