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The Winds of Change (Part 6): Place your bids – Crown lands soon to be available for wind energy projects

By John Samms, Stuart Wallace and Dave Randell

On December 14, 2022, the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Industry, Energy and Technology announced the launch of a Crown land call for bids for wind energy projects. The document Guidelines: Crown Land Calls for Bids for Wind Energy Projects outlines the information required for bidders, including evaluation criteria. While the document should be reviewed for complete details of the process, this article is intended to provide a brief overview of the process.

Call for Bids

Bids can now be submitted for wind developments on Crown lands, and will be accepted from December 14, 2022 until midnight on March 3, 2023. Bids must be submitted via email to the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology. Available Crown lands for these projects can be viewed here.

Information for Evaluation

Bidders will be expected to provide, among other things, the following information for evaluation:

  • Project summary;
  • Associated Hydrogen/Ammonia production;
  • Water requirements;
  • Project risk mitigation;
  • Electricity considerations and grid impacts;
  • Community and Indigenous engagement;
  • Project schedule; and,
  • Financing.

Legislation

It is imperative that bidders review the province’s legislative and regulatory frameworks, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to the development and provision of electricity in the province, such as, the Public Utilities Act and the Electrical Power Control Act, 1994.

Evaluation of Bids

There will be a two-phased evaluation of bids.

Phase 1 Review – Minimum Criteria

First Stage Review will evaluate whether submissions meet the minimum criteria expected of a bidder to be able to deliver a Wind Energy Project. Emphasis will be placed on the bidder’s experience, the project, and their financial capacity to plan, construct, and operate the proposed project.

Phase 2 Review

Those successful in Phase 1 will automatically proceed to a Phase 2 review. This will begin in April 2023. This will be a more robust evaluation focused on the entirety on the information provided. The second stage review involves a weighted evaluation system, whereby electricity considerations and grid impacts are evaluated as heavily as bidder details, project details, benefits, and financing. The weighting is listed as follows:

  • Bidder: 15%
  • Project Risk Mitigation: 5%
  • Electricity Considerations and Grid: 15%
  • Community and Indigenous Engagement: 10%
  • Benefits: 15%
  • Project Schedule: 10%
  • Financing: 10%

Successful Bidders

Successful bidders will not be awarded Crown land at the outset. Instead, the province utilized mechanisms under the Lands Act to proactively reserve certain lands to later grant successful proponents the exclusive right to formally apply for an interest in the property. The provincial government will then provide successful proponents a wind application recommendation letter from the Department. This will serve as the instrument that guarantees a proponent an exclusive window to secure relevant Crown land, subject to the various legislation including the Public Utilities Act and the Electrical Power Control Act, 1994.


This update is intended for general information only. If you have any questions on the above we would invite you to contact the authors or any other member of our Energy Group.

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