New Business in Nova Scotia for Consultants, Construction and Engineering Firms
Janet Blackadar, Manager, Sciences - Maritime Provinces at AMEC talks to Canadian Clean Energy Conferences about new business opportunities for the renewables industry in Nova Scotia with COMFIT and RFP projects beginning this fall. Environmental assessment and permitting, engineering, grid integration and construction expertise will be in demand, she reports. Blackadar is speaking on the particulars of building wind in the region at the Nova Scotia Feed-in Tariff Forum 2012 and AMEC is exhibiting. wwwnsfit2012.com.
Canadian Clean: What sort of opportunities will open up for the renewables industry this fall in Nova Scotia?
Janet Blackadar: There will be many diverse opportunities for several different industries. Some opportunities will certainly be related to the type of work that AMEC does, whether it has to do with environmental permitting or geotechnical investigations and foundation design, or power assessment and grid integration work. Given the potential for these new projects to be coming online there should also be opportunities in the construction sector, whether that be construction of the wind turbines themselves, or the work associated with the construction of foundations and erection of turbines.
CC: What are some of the particular challenges COMFIT owners and IPPs need to be aware of when building wind farms in Nova Scotia?
JB: Often project proponents are focussed on when the project they are interested in building will be coming into production, and, as a result, tend to be focussed on design and construction timelines. As a result of this focus, owners and IPPs may not have a good appreciation of some of the timelines associated with approvals and permits that are required before projects can be constructed.
There can be approvals and permits required from both federal and provincial authorities as well as municipalities. Typically the time and costs associated with securing these approvals are somewhat longer than owners are expecting as there can be several studies that require work to be conducted over all seasons of the year. As well, there are often requirements for follow up studies after a project is in operation. The upfront studies can impact project planning, costing and ultimately, production. It is also very important that project proponents understand how critical it is for the community to understand any project and participate in the planning stages. Community consultation is key to any project’s success.
CC: Can you tell us a bit about the work Amec has done with renewable energy developers in the region?
JB: AMEC has been involved in several wind developments in the Maritimes and other parts of Canada, as well as worldwide. Our wind projects have ranged from smaller scale projects (under 50 MW) to large scale offshore wind farms. We have participated in virtually all aspects of wind development from the field studies to inform an environmental impact assessment to permitting and follow up studies, geotechnical studies and foundation design, power integration, wind resource assessments, meteorological studies, and due diligence reviews for asset transfers of full scale wind developments. We have also helped several clients with biomass, solar and syngas projects.
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