Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), of Denmark, has parnered with Newfoundland’s Beothuk Energy Inc. to develop a 180MW wind farm project in St. George’s Bay, the first of several offshore wind farms to be jointly owned and operated by the partnership in Atlantic Canada.
Future offshore wind farm projects planned for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island should generate approximately 3,380MW, including the 180MW generated by the St. George’s Bay project.
Beothuk CEO Kirby Mercer was in Hamburg, Germany this week to sign the agreement with CIP, which will fund the project through its Copenhagen Infrastructure II fund, one of three funds managed by CIP intended to fund large energy-related projects, altogether worth EUR 3.4 billion in committed capital.
“Beothuk is thrilled to be in business with one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy financing,” said Beothuk CEO Kirby Mercer. “CIP brings tremendous capabilities and experience to the table as well as capital to help us quickly become one of Canada’s leading wind power developers and the first with an offshore project.”
The Bay St. George wind farm site, located about 30 kilometres offshore, is forecast to cost C$466 million, and will cover an area of 20 square nautical miles, with water depths averaging about 40 metres, with 30 turbines on towers mated to gravity based structures, each generating 6 MW at a cost anticipated to be less than 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Norton Rose Fulbright acted as Beothuk’s legal counsel on the deal, while Jacob Capital Management Inc., managed by exclusive advisor to Beothuk, Sasha Jacob, acted as financial advisor.
CIP will fund the final development of the St. George’s Bay project, which has been in development and through the approvals process since 2011, and will subsequently invest the capital required for construction.
When a power purchase agreement is obtained, CIP will lead the project to financial close.
“We are looking forward to participating in developing the St. Georges Bay project together with Beothuk”, said Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, Senior Partner in CIP. “We see significant potential for offshore wind in Atlantic Canada due to strong winds, shallow water and an existing industry with experience in working in an offshore environment since many years.”
The 180MW generated by the St. George’s Bay project could supply clean electricity to more than 150,000 houses when it’s up and running, and should create more than 500 jobs during construction.
In June, Beothuk partnered with Iron & Earth, a non-profit Edmonton-based social enterprise led by ex-oilsands workers, to re-focus their skills on clean energy projects.
Beothuk has previously proposed a $4 billion wind farm 20 kilometres from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where 120 wind turbines would generate upwards of 1,000 megawatts of energy for sale to New England through a 370-kilometre subsea cable called the Can-Am Link.
The Can-Am Link provides Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners a ready-made point of entry to the American market.
The proposed site of the Yarmouth wind farm is in shallow waters, generally no deeper than 30 metres for the 20 kilometre distance out to the site, and is outside of shipping lanes and commercial fishing grounds.
The St. George’s Bay site is near Emera’s Maritime Link transmission line, a $1.6 billion 170-kilometre undersea cable, linking the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador to Newfoundland, and then along to Nova Scotia, which is projected to be online in October 2017.