With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz scheduled to announce a green hydrogen agreement next week in Newfoundland and Labrador, the closest Canadian project to actual production is in this province.
EverWind has filed a project description for a Class 1 environmental assessment with the province’s Department of Environment and Climate Change for its proposed green hydrogen production facility at the former NuStar Energy transshipment terminal in Point Tupper.
While the project description won’t be public until next month, company president Trent Vichie said that Phase 1 would see them spend about $1 billion converting the terminal to turn wind energy purchased from Nova Scotia Power into hydrogen and from there into 200,000 tonnes of ammonia for export by ship.
If environmental approval (Class 1 assessments typically take 50 days) is received this year, Vichie said construction would begin next year with the aim of being in production by 2025.
“We have the equity to go ahead and build that,” said Vichie of Phase 1.
Phase 2 of the project would see over $7 billion spent, adding onshore windfarms and expanding production to a million tonnes annually by 2026.
Vichie said EverWind would be seeking to team-up with local industry, First Nations and potentially the Canada Infrastructure Bank to finance Phase 2.
Federal staffers in Ottawa have been leaking details to the press all week about the accord to be signed by Canada and Germany that will see the latter commit in some way to import hydrogen from this country.
But no-one is producing hydrogen from renewable electricity (which is what gives it the moniker “green hydrogen”) in Canada yet.
The accord will be signed in Stephenville, where Clearwater Seafoods co-founder John Risley is part of a consortium (World Energy GH2) proposing to erect 164 onshore wind turbines to power green hydrogen production.
“The accord they’re signing signals to us that there is some support for green hydrogen at the highest levels of the German and Canadian governments,” said Vichie.
The federal government has embraced green hydrogen as a way to meet the Liberal government’s pledge to meet net-zero emissions goals by 2050.
In 2020, Natural Resources Canada released a national hydrogen strategy that championed transforming much of this country’s economy to run on hydrogen while supporting the development of projects, such as the ones proposed for Point Tupper and Stephenville, to produce and export it.
“This Strategy is a call to action. It will spur investments and strategic partnerships across the country and beyond our borders,” reads the preamble by federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Reagan.
“It will position Canada to seize economic and environmental opportunities that exist coast to coast. Expanding our exports. Creating as many as 350,000 good, green jobs over the next three decades. All while dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. And putting a net-zero future within our reach.”
But the federal government got a severe chastising by its own auditor general this spring.
After assessing the hydrogen strategy, the auditor general issued a report accusing the federal government of relying on “unfounded assumptions of policy implementation across jurisdictions, unrealistically low production cost assumptions, supporting infrastructure costs not considered and overly ambitious assumptions of technology uptake.”
The auditor general’s report pointed to the cost of producing green hydrogen, about 16 times that of natural gas, as making it financially prohibitive.
However, it did acknowledge that as industry scales up, economies of scale will be achieved and rising carbon taxes will also help narrow the price gap.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding