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Ottawa gives Newfoundland and Labrador more control over offshore wind power projects


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OTTAWA — Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador signed an agreement today giving the eastern province full regulatory control over renewable energy projects in its inland bays.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the deal will allow the province to regulate wind projects in those areas as if they were onshore developments.

He says the deal is aimed at streamlining the approval process, particularly as opportunities arise from the province’s nascent wind-powered hydrogen sector.

Wilkinson told reporters in Ottawa the agreement lets Newfoundland and Labrador determine the pace and the scale of the industry, and reap all of its economic benefits.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey says the agreement is a necessary and important first step to kick-start an offshore wind industry in the blustery province.

The two governments jointly manage the province’s offshore oil sector through a federal-provincial regulatory board.

Larry Hughes, an engineering professor at Dalhousie University, says Quebec may be a “ready customer” for Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore wind energy, though he cautioned that offshore wind is expensive to develop.

“Yes, it’s a grand idea. But there are hurdles when it comes down to it,” Hughes said in an interview.

Quebec is looking to get more electricity from renewable sources and is already in negotiations with Newfoundland and Labrador as a decades-old energy agreement between the two provinces is set to expire in 2041.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press is Canada’s independent national news agency that informs Canadians, providing depth, breadth and perspective with regional, national and international news 24/7/365.


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