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All is quiet in progress of Beothuk Energy’s wind project plans for western Newfoundland

['SUBMITTED PHOTO<br />This photo shows an offshore wind farm, similar to the one Beothuk Energy proposes to build in St. George’s Bay.']
['SUBMITTED PHOTO<br />This photo shows an offshore wind farm, similar to the one Beothuk Energy proposes to build in St. George’s Bay.']

In July, Kirby Mercer said a commitment to the wind energy project he envisions for western Newfoundland was needed by the end of this year.

With only three weeks to go before the calendar turns to 2018, there has been no word on whether Beothuk Energy and its partners have gotten the kind of positive indications they had hoped for.

Mercer said he and his funding partner, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, were willing to invest $1 billion in developing the industry based in western Newfoundland. It would include a gravity-base structure manufacturing site in Corner Brook and a wind farm in Bay St. George with an accompanying maintenance site in Stephenville.

Mercer’s long-term vision was to also build base structures for export to other wind farm sites, creating hundreds of long-term jobs.

To happen, the project needs to reach an offtake agreement with the provincial government, other utilities and potential customers.

The Western Star’s repeated attempts to reach Mercer recently for an update on the project have not been successful.

A request for an update from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners also went unanswered.

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady would not do an interview but said in an emailed response provided through her department’s communications director that Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) remains government’s point of contact for the project, but there was still not much new to report.

“We continue to speak to CIP, which we understand are currently speaking to potential long-term customers outside the province as is normal in such developments,” the statement read.

“Once CIP's representatives … have completed their discussions in that area, we expect them to come back to us to report on that and to take any proposal to its next level.”

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