Offshore wind could be for Atlantic Canada what oil was to Texas or hydro power to Quebec, according to a new report by the Ottawa-based think tank Public Policy Forum.
“We are talking here not of something incremental, but monumental,” the think tank stated.
One of several locations in Atlantic Canada suitable for offshore wind projects is Sable Island Bank in Nova Scotia. It could accommodate at least 1,000 x 15MW offshore turbines, producing up to 70,000GWh yearly, according to the report.
Nova Scotia’s provincial government plans to auction leases to support 5GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
But Atlantic Canada is remote and not highly populated, so demand is an issue. The local manufacture of green hydrogen is one possibility as is transmitting power to the US.
If Canada is to reach its goal of net zero in 2050, the Canada Energy Regulator predicts that wind power will have to provide about 30% of total electricity supply, compared to less than 6% in 2021.