World Energy GH2 Answers for the Codroy Valley Community
This was forward to the CVADA by email by Angela Gill, Community Engagement Manager, WE GH2.
Community Questions for World Energy GH2 Via the Codroy Valley Area Development Association July 14, 2023
Questions About the Potential Advantages
1. Could you detail the number and nature of employment opportunities anticipated for the Codroy Valley residents due to the wind energy projects and clarify the duration of these job terms?
A conservative estimate is that the total project will create 1,800 direct construction jobs, 300 jobs in operation, and 3,000 indirect jobs.
As part of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, WEGH2 is developing an Employment and Economy Assessment, and a Workforce and Employment Plan, which will include an outline of employment expectations, including a list of the roles required. Details will be made available as a public document after the EIS has been submitted. We're planning to submit the document in mid-August, so it will be available for review and comment shortly after submission.
2. What kind of local services, to be potentially offered by businesses within the Codroy Valley, are expected to be in demand during both the construction and operational phases of the World Energy GH2 project?
We expect to have the pre-FEED (front-end engineering design) plans for the project developed later this summer. These plans will include the expected workforce required and breakdowns of the roles, timing for human resources and hiring, etc.
World Energy GH2 will prioritize local, qualified vendors throughout the project.
3. Does the proposed Project Nujio'qonik contribute to air quality improvement? If they do, could you elaborate on the mechanisms through which this improvement occurs and whose air quality will primarily be affected?
While the project will help mitigate the effects of climate change on a global scale, it is not anticipated to contribute specifically to local air quality improvement.
As part of the EIS, the ambient air quality conditions in the vicinity of each wind energy generation site, and the hydrogen and ammonia production facility, will be assessed, including air emission sources and dust lift-off.
4. Given the established agreements with foreign educational institutions related to Project Nujio'qonik, are there any plans to offer training programs for local residents of Codroy Valley to prepare them for potential careers in this new industry?
World Energy GH2 has been meeting with College of the North Atlantic since spring 2022, and we intend to develop partnerships, as appropriate, including the following commitments made to-date: o Scholarships for students accepted into the Wind Turbine Technician and Hydrogen Technician programs o Pending Project approval, commitment to pre-hire students who have been accepted into the Wind Turbine Technician and Hydrogen Technician programs, and pay for their training
WEGH2 is helping facilitate a partnership between Qalipu First Nation and DOB Academy (The Netherlands) to develop industry training and curriculum. The training will include micro-credential programs focused on wind energy, hydrogen, and green energy development. Details are being determined by Qalipu and DOB Academy.
5. Could you describe the process for shipping the Hydrogen product from Newfoundland and Labrador to Europe? What environmental impact might this shipping process have, and what safety measures and protocols will be instituted to ensure minimal environmental harm?
World Energy GH2 will operate with best-in-class standards and practices.
The wind energy will power the hydrogen and ammonia plant, where the electricity will be used to convert water to hydrogen. From there, the green hydrogen will be converted into green ammonia for export to international markets, as transporting hydrogen over long distances is most cost-effective in the form of liquid ammonia.
Ammonia is transported globally by dedicated ammonia carriers and by standard liquefied petroleum gas capable vessels. There is currently a robust international trade in ammonia and an emerging focus on sustainable, low-emission ammonia carriers dedicated to green ammonia transport.
6. Could you identify the scientific experts evaluating the potential harm of this project to local bird ecosystems and explain whether they're considering both short and long-term impacts? Is there an assumption that local avian life will adapt and thrive despite the project?
Stantec is supporting the Project Nujio'qonik team on engineering and environmental components of the project. Stantec's environmental scope is focused on the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement to meet provincial regulatory requirements to assess the potential effects of the project on the biophysical and socio-economic environments. This includes collection of baseline field data, development of environmental management programs, and modeling exercises to support the environmental assessment.
The EIS will be reviewed by provincial and federal regulators and scientists to evaluate the assessment of potential impacts to birds and other species. They will determine the requirements for an effects mitigation and monitoring program.
7. Where is it planned to store hydrogen and ammonia prior to shipment to Europe, and what are the associated byproducts and consequences of this process?
The applicable codes and standards for the production and storage of ammonia are NFPA 55 and API 650. These standards will guide the design of the storage facilities and the safety systems required to prevent harm to people and the environment.
Questions About the Potential Disadvantages
1. What will the environmental assessment report reveal about potential health conditions due to living near a wind turbine?
As part of the EIS, the atmospheric environment (e.g., air quality) and the acoustic and visual environments (e.g., noise, vibrations, light) are being studied within the vicinity of the project area.
The atmospheric environment will have a baseline study to understand current conditions and the potential effects of the project on human health and safety, ecological health and aesthetics, and potentially sensitive human and wildlife receptors.
Predicted environmental effects of the project will include a comprehensive analysis of the potential effects of all phases of the project on human health and quality of life.
2. How much noise will a wind turbine generate, what type of noise should we expect, how close will people need to be to hear it, and will any residents near the wind turbine sites be affected?
3. What pollutants will be released into the environment during the construction and operation of the wind turbines in the Codroy Valley?
Materials used during the construction period would be standard for most construction projects. Construction and operation of the wind farm include diesel, petroleum, oil, and lubricants, which will create waste, such as used oil and oil filters. These materials and subsequent wastes will be transported, stored, and handled as per regulatory requirements and disposed of at an approved materials recycling / disposal facility.
A project-specific Waste Management Plan will be developed for collection and disposal of waste generated during construction, operation and maintenance phases.
4. According to experts, how do wind turbines affect the migration of birds and bats?
Research has found that bird fatalities due to wind turbines are much lower than those from collisions with windows, vehicles, or towers, or from habitat loss due to many other forms of development. Studies suggest that less than 0.2% of the population of any bird species is affected by mortality or displacement from wind turbine development. o Source: Aviation Conservation and Ecology https://ace-eco.org/vol8/iss2/art10/
The WEGH2 project will be designed, constructed, and operated following applicable environmental regulations and guidance.
5. Can you provide examples of successful windmill projects near similar estuaries or wetlands?
Source: Danish study via the Brussels Times https://www.brusselstimes.com/138440/birds-astonishingly-good-at-dodging-wind-mills-new-study-shows-geese-cranes-wind-farm-energy-bird-avian-mortality-impact-turbines-seagulls-death-vattenfall-bird-sanctuary
6. What part of wind turbine components can be recycled, and what are their estimated lifecycles and disposal plans?
Combined response to questions #6 and 7 below
7. What is the planned disposal strategy for these wind turbines? Will they be disposed of on the island, and if so, what methods or processes will be employed?
Combined response to questions #6 & 7
The project's decommissioning and rehabilitation activities aim to restore the site and typically include: o Removal and appropriate disposal of equipment, materials, and supplies, including recyclable and non-recyclable ones o Demolition and removal of infrastructure including buildings and foundations o Removal and appropriate disposal of non-hazardous demolition debris • Re-contouring o Overburden and topsoil replacement o Natural re-vegetation
It is recognized that the project is in its early stage, and that it will take at least 30 years for it to reach the end of the wind farm's nominal design life. As a result, despite the preliminary plan, we will continue to seek solutions and improve our strategy considering available technologies. Decommissioning activities would comply with environmental regulations and requirements in place at the time of decommissioning.
Turbine decommissioning: Decommissioning a turbine entails removing the entire structure, including the turbine and turbine base. Components such as nacelle and tower components have an established practice of recycling, and appropriate plans will be implemented. Some turbine manufacturers have recently introduced recyclable wind blades; these new products will be factored into our overall strategy. For components that do not currently have a mature recycling method, at the time of decommissioning, it will be determined whether they can be resold entirely or in part.
8. During cold weather, is de-icing required for the blades of the wind turbines? If so, what methods or techniques are employed for de-icing?
The likelihood of ice buildup on turbine blades in the NL climate is being studied.
In general practice: o Ice can be detected on wind turbine monitoring systems. o De-icing of the turbine blades prior to operation eliminates risks of ice-throw and limits production losses. De-icing is available in two variations: § Passive systems: Using ice-resistant coatings or paint § Active systems: Using thermal pads, or internal circulation of heated air for de-icing
9. What strategies are in place to safeguard the ponds and streams flowing into the Grand Codroy River and Little Codroy River?
A series of environmental management plans will be developed by WEGH2 to mitigate the effects of Project development on the surrounding environment, including all ponds and rivers. A full list of mitigation measures to be applied throughout Project construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning and rehabilitation is currently being developed for the EIS.
10. Will there be an evaluation of potential water system impacts due to run-off and watersheds conducted by the Government or World Energy GH2?
The EIS will describe the relevant components of the aquatic environment within the study area of the VECs (valued environmental components), including surface-water flow, groundwater movement and aquifer recharge zones, and the delineation of drainage basins, including wetlands, at appropriate scales.
11. What's the plan for long-term wind turbine maintenance, and who bears that responsibility?
World Energy GH2 bears the responsibility for all wind turbine maintenance. Maintenance will include monitoring, servicing and maintaining access and equipment.
12. What emergency and contingency measures will World Energy GH2 establish for the wind turbines, and what role will our local volunteer fire department play?
The EIS will include an Emergency Response/Contingency Plan outlining procedures to respond to accidents, malfunctions, and emergencies.
WEGH2 will have a staffed emergency response team, including fire response personnel. A Hazardous Materials Response and Training Plan will be developed for NL community fire departments/first responders in higher-risk areas such as the hydrogen plant.
13. Could the maintenance of the blades on these wind turbines pose concerns regarding the release of fine particulates that could potentially harm the environment or cause respiratory health issues for residents living in close proximity to the wind turbines?
14. How many wind turbines are planned to be installed beyond the initial 164 in the Port au Port area? Specifically, we would like to know the number of turbines intended for the Anguille Mountain area and the specific locations where they will be placed.
155-165 wind turbine sites have been identified in the "Codroy Wind Farm" for a capacity of 1 GW. The proposed layout and turbine placement is shown below, however, the exact quantity and precise placement of turbines will be subject to the selection of the final turbine model(s).