Atlantica recently interviewed Sean Fleming, Senior Project Manager Renewables, to learn more about ABO Wind’s regional and global stake in the energy sector.

Q: Please tell us about ABO Wind. What is your role in the energy sector?

Sean Fleming: I’m proud to be among more than 1200 employees who work for this family-owned business that operates in 16 countries. Founded in Germany in 1996, ABO Wind AG successfully develops and builds wind and solar farms, as well as battery storage and hydrogen projects. We work with enthusiasm on the planning, financing, construction, operational management, and maintenance of our projects to ensure a sustainable energy supply.

ABO Wind Canada is a subsidiary of ABO Wind AG and was founded in 2017, with the first Canadian office in Calgary. With the growing renewable energy sector in the region, ABO Wind opened its Atlantic Canada hub in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2022, and has expanded to open an office in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador as of 2023. There is a total of 14 team members in Atlantic Canada with various areas of expertise. Projects are actively under development in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The ABO Wind Canada Team, including staff from Atlantic Canada, Ontario, and Alberta.

Q: Why did ABO Wind decide to open offices in Canada, and specifically in Halifax and St. John’s?

Sean Fleming: There is a strong focus on renewable energy across Canada and targets for net-zero at the federal and provincial level. ABO Wind cares about sustainable and clean energy, as well as market opportunities and what is economically best.

ABO Wind decided to open the first Atlantic Canada office in Halifax because of Nova Scotia’s goal to transition away from coal and reach a target of 80% renewable energy by 2030, which creates a lot of opportunity for new wind, solar and battery projects.

Additionally, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador both have good proximity to Europe for exports, and Atlantic Canada is aligned with ABO Wind’s goal to start implementing green hydrogen into energy systems.

Q: Tell us about ABO Wind’s most recent successes.

Sean Fleming: ABO Wind has a strong presence in Germany and France, and due to the cold climate experienced there, we were able to transfer a lot of our knowledge to Canada. As a global entity, ABO Wind has realized more than 5,000 megawatts of capacity to date and constructed half of them. ABO Wind Canada itself developed Canada’s largest wind development to date, the 515 MW Buffalo Plains Wind Farm in Alberta.

One of our biggest milestones in Atlantic Canada occurred in August 2023. ABO Wind Canada was awarded the exclusive right to pursue development of its Toqlukuti’k Wind and Hydrogen Project, located in Newfoundland and Labrador by the Avalon Isthmus, and through the Crown Land Call for Bids for Wind Energy Projects. Development on this project is very active from our hydrogen team in the province, supported by our broader Canadian team, as well as our team in Germany.

Toqlukuti’k Wind and Hydrogen is a multi-phased, integrated Project that will provide green ammonia for export to the global market and green hydrogen to further decarbonize the production of the Braya refinery in Come By Chance, eventually totalling 5000 MW once complete. While hydrogen is a common feedstock for the refinery, our proposal involves utilizing clean wind energy and water to produce green hydrogen, which would then be integrated into the regular refinery process.

Our team has done a significant amount of planning for the 40 MW Rhodena Wind and 115.5 MW Melvin Lake Wind Projects in Nova Scotia, from engineering and environmental studies to public engagement, and will be submitting both Projects into the Green Choice procurement program in Nova Scotia in June, 2024. In New Brunswick we are pursuing green hydrogen and are currently advancing a 7-turbine Project.

Q: How does ABO Wind collaborate with First Nations partners?

Sean Fleming: ABO Wind is very focused on the recognition of Treaty Rights, economic reconciliation, creating valuable equity partnerships, capacity building, as well as contracting opportunities and jobs. ABO Wind has developed relationships with numerous First Nations in Western Canada, collaborating on mitigation measures and supporting opportunities that foster community building.

In Atlantic Canada, ABO Wind takes great value in forging relationships with Pabineau and Eel River Bar First Nations in New Brunswick, Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia. There are a lot of great business-minded individuals in First Nations communities across Canada that want to build a solid, long-term, and sustainable energy foundation for their communities.

Q: What role will ABO Wind assets and operations play in Atlantic Canada’s energy transition?

Pabineau First Nation Chief Terry Richardson and Councillor Jim Richardson (L) with ABO Wind team members following a presentation in New Brunswick on proposed Projects in 2023. Papineau First Nation is partnered with ABO Wind Canada in New Brunswick.

Sean Fleming: Once our Nova Scotia projects are fully developed, they will play a significant role in helping achieve Nova Scotia’s targets of 80% renewable energy and closing all coal plants by 2030. Our wind projects in development in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will provide clean power for use in both provinces, and our Newfoundland and Labrador project will provide green hydrogen to further decarbonize the production of the Braya refinery in Come By Chance.

Q: What does the future look like for ABO Wind?

Sean Fleming: ABO Wind will soon become ABO Energy to capture the entirety of the clean energy projects that we develop, demonstrating the value of working with, and for, ABO. The entire company, including the international subsidiaries, will formally complete the name change to ABO Energy by May 2024.

We will see continued development and a growing team in Atlantic Canada; the future of renewable energy is very bright in the Atlantic provinces. We will continue to develop our existing wind and hydrogen portfolio and are actively green fielding for battery storage and solar sites. ABO Wind, soon to be ABO Energy, believe that the growth that has happened in Atlantic Canada is very reflective of the growing energy transition.

To learn more about ABO Wind/ABO Energy, visit their website here.

To learn more about other Atlantica members, visit Our Partners page here.