MODG reps to attend hydrogen conference in Rotterdam

GUYSBOROUGH — On the heels of a three-day, fact-finding mission on offshore wind to the United Kingdom in February, council for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) will send another delegation to the world’s largest conference on hydrogen energy in Rotterdam next month.

In a briefing note last week on the World Hydrogen Summit and Exhibition, May 13-15, MODG Director of Economic Development Gordon MacDonald explained that since the conference is “the largest and most senior global hydrogen event” and “all the major global offshore wind developers will be participating ... I strongly recommend that the MODG participate as a full participant in this delegation.”

MacDonald noted that the provincial government has secured a space in the Canadian Pavilion and is recruiting delegates. Already, he said, representatives from Richmond County, Port Hawkesbury and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality have agreed. Meanwhile, “All of the current Nova Scotia-based investment projects – EverWind, Bear Head, Simply Blue, DP [Energy]/SBM [Offshore] – are attending and participating ... Newfoundland will have a very large delegation.”

He added: “As the Province of Nova Scotia prepares to post five gigawatts of offshore wind for auction, this event will play an important role in introducing Canada and Nova Scotia to potential bidders/investors.”

According to the summit’s website, the event annually attracts more than 15,000 senior industry representatives and government policy makers from around the world, and more than 500 exhibitors.

“Given the importance of this opportunity for our municipality,” MacDonald said, “I would recommend our chief administrative officer, or alternate, and our business development officer participate to assure that the MODG is foremost in any discussions related to onshore/offshore renewables to hydrogen.”

The cost to attend the conference was not immediately available, but the briefing note stated that MODG’s participation can be cost-shared with the federal and provincial governments.

Last year, council approved $35,000 to defray some of the expenses associated with sending MODG Chief Administrative Officer Barry Carroll, Deputy Warden Janet Peitzsche (District 5), and District 4 Councillor Dave Hanhams on the U.K. trip.

“We did receive some funding from other levels of government early on the process – to support some of the objectives that we are putting forth on offshore wind,” Carroll told The Journal in December. “Some of the money [to pay for the U.K. trip came] from there and the rest ... from MODG.”

Council approved sending two senior MODG representatives to the Rotterdam conference at its regular council meeting April 17.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal