Generation Energy is profiling representatives from the energy sector to understand how they use innovation and technology to support opportunities for a low-carbon future.
The Future of Wind Energy in Newfoundland
“The future for offshore wind energy is now,” says Kirby Mercer, Chairman & CEO of Beothuk Energy Inc. “There will be a major shift in 5-10 years with a lot of oil and gas companies buying offshore wind and renewables. It’s a new age business. It’s the future, but it’s also here right now.”
Entrepreneurs like Mercer are striving to promote change and create a Canada with affordable, reliable, green energy. Through Beothuk, Kirby is developing a $1-billion offshore wind farm in Western Newfoundland to help meet increasing demand for clean energy in Atlantic Canada and the Eastern United States.
There is a great opportunity to kick start offshore wind energy in Western Newfoundland because of the constant wind and shallow water for installing wind farms. The recently announced manufacturing site in the Port of Corner Brook is also great for building gravity-based structures due to its shallow water.
“Western Newfoundland is an ideal place to develop offshore wind energy because of the natural environment, existing infrastructure and engineering expertise,” says Mercer.
Offshore Wind Farms in the Bay of Fundy
How is your work influencing that change?
Beothuk Energy, along with other renewable energy developments, are influencing government policy.
“Our work is being recognized on the international stage. Some of our proposals are influencing government policy on marine tidal and offshore wind development,” said Mercer.
The federal and provincial governments have recently developed policies to look more at renewables for several reasons. With carbon pricing coming soon and the need to get off coal power in parts of Atlantic Canada, wind energy will give us the capacity to get off the old energy mix.