Hydrogen project proposed for Newfoundland town garners huge local support

Hydrogen project proposed for Newfoundland town garners huge local support

November 29, 2023 1 By Angie Bergenson

Wind-to-hydrogen project could bring high-paying jobs to Stephenville.

Though there were frigid temperatures this past weekend in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, this didn’t stop hundreds from braving the cold to show their support for a proposed hydrogen project. The hope is that the wind-to-hydrogen development will give the economy a much-needed boost and bring in high paying jobs.

Boosting the economy and keeping people home.

The wind-to-hydrogen megaproject has been proposed by World Energy GH2. The goal of the hydrogen project is to construct hundreds of wind turbines in the region and build a hydrogen production facility in Stephenville, located in Newfoundland’s west coast.

Dave McGrath, owner of Celtic Aerospace & Business Strategies, and a volunteer at the Rally that took place on Saturday, says that the hydrogen project represents a potentially large boost to the Stephenville economy.

“Our hope and our vision for this is that we’re going to have a very large-scale industry here, starting up very soon, which is going to bring a lot of skilled labour and high paying jobs for the people of this region,” McGrath said, reported CBC News.

“We can keep our people home, have a great industrial base, and raise the standard of living across the board.”

Some indigenous leaders in the area support the hydrogen project as well.

There were also indigenous leaders at the rally who showed their support for the hydrogen project. They believe it will be beneficial to their communities. Among these benefits include building a local economy and generating jobs in the area to bring their people home, keep them home, keep their children home, which will help to strengthen and preserve indigenous culture.

Hydrogen project - Renewable hydrogen jobs

“If our children have to leave, we lose our culture,” said Chief Peggy White of the Three Rivers Mi’kmaw band. “This project allows our children to get educated, get skills in trades, and stay at home.”

Lack of jobs in the area over the years has led to many Newfoundlanders leaving their communities and the province to find work elsewhere in Canada.

Criticism and fear.

hydrogen news ebookThough it has plenty of support, the proposed hydrogen project still needs environmental approval from Newfoundland’s government. What’s more, not everyone is keen for it to receive the green light of approval. To date, the project has drawn a wide range of criticism from some residents. There are those who are concerned about the environmental impacts the project will have while others question the viability of the hydrogen industry.

According to White, the criticism comes from misinformation and fear. “People get afraid when there’s change. Sometimes change is good and we can use that change to build stable communities,” she said.

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