Offshore Wind Brings Together Beothuk and Iron & Earth
Beothuk Energy and Iron & Earth have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further facilitate the apprenticeships and retraining necessary for oil and gas workers to move into the offshore wind sector.
Beothuk Energy is proposing six offshore wind farms in Atlantic Canada with a combined capacity of more than 4,000MW, while Iron & Earth is a worker-led group that began operations when oil prices turned lower in 2015 with a mandate to provide oil and gas workers with the training and opportunities needed to transition into renewable energy sectors.
“When the labour market recognizes a global shift, and becomes a first mover, it sends a strong signal to Canadians, to government, to industry. It’s a movement from blue-collar to green-collar,” said Kirby Mercer, Chairman and CEO of Beothuk Energy.
The purpose of the MoU reflects the opportunities to be found in “the supply and operation” of Beothuk Energy’s projects in order to “maximize the benefits” from all aspects of its business to Iron & Earth’s members, Beothuk Energy said.
Both parties have paid close attention to an industry shift from oil and gas into offshore wind in Europe, which has included displaced, skilled oil and gas workers, related supply chain industries, and executives at all levels. “As oil and gas workers concerned about climate change, this project represents exactly the kind of employment we are seeking. We have the hands-on sills needed to install this infrastructure,” said Adam Cormier, East Coast director of Iron & Earth.
The migration of workers from carbon-based energy to clean offshore wind is expected to continue across North America, Beothuk Energy said and added that it adopted a local preference policy early in its development, and continues to disclose its plans by working with interested groups and maintaining community engagement.
As Beothuk Energy expects to create approximately 10 jobs for each MW produced and has stated the combined power of all the Atlantic Canadian projects totals 4,000+ MW, Iron & Earth has identified the employment opportunities promised by Beothuk Energy’s projects, and both groups are keen to explore the synergies between the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind sectors, Beothuk Energy stated.