Nova Scotia Plans Canada’s First Offshore Wind Auctions

Canada offshore wind
(European Space Agency image)

Published Sep 21, 2022 7:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia announced plans to conduct Canada’s first offshore wind auctions in 2025. It is part of a broader effort to develop a green hydrogen industry for the province in support of the broader initiative recently announced between the Canadian and German governments.

Leases for offshore wind development will be granted through a competitive bid process jointly managed by the provincial and federal governments, with an initial target for 5GW of power during the first call for bids in 2025. After reaching the 5GW target, calls for bids will be based on market opportunities. Nova Scotia’s efforts are in addition to planning by the federal government for offshore wind farm development in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Despite independent estimates that Canada has the potential for more than 9,000 GW of offshore wind energy generation, the Canadian federal government has had a moratorium for the past decade on development while it was researching its potential and the best means of approaching development. Canadian has in the meantime pursued other forms of renewable energy including hydro, tidal, and wave power generation.

“Setting this target sends a clear signal to the world that Nova Scotia is open for business and becoming an international leader in offshore wind and green hydrogen development,” said Premier Tim Houston. “We are taking every opportunity to develop our renewable energy market, not only to fight global climate change, but also to create green jobs here in Nova Scotia.”

The provincial government said in announcing its plans that it believes the most promising use for offshore wind energy is generating renewable electricity to produce green hydrogen for use in the province and export. However, they noted that offshore wind is also another option to help Nova Scotia and Canada meet future clean electricity needs.

“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. We will use this geography to our advantage in our pursuit of offshore wind as one of many solutions to help fight climate change and grow our green economy,” said Tory Rushton, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables.

Last month’ Canada and Germany announced an alliance to develop hydrogen for export to Germany. Nova Scotia said in planning its offshore wind lease auctions that it is also developing a green hydrogen action plan which will be released in 2023. The plan will outline the role green hydrogen can play in the transition to clean energy and the steps the government will take to build this industry, which will help Nova Scotia reach net-zero emissions by 2050.