Alberta-based renewable energy developer BluEarth Renewables Inc. has partnered with Batchewana First Nation (BFN) on the Bow Lake Wind Farm. According to BluEarth and Batchewana, this relationship represents the largest economic partnership between a First Nation and a wind energy developer in Canada.
Project discussions began in June 2007 with the original project developers and the Batchewana First Nation. BluEarth acquired the Bow Lake Wind Farm in 2011 and has continued to work closely with the Batchewana First Nation to negotiate this partnership.
As a result of the partnership, the project proponents will be Nodin Kitagan Limited Partnership (for Phase 1) and Nodin Kitagan 2 Limited Partnership (for Phase 2).
"This partnership demonstrates that opportunities exist for positive collaboration between industry and First Nation," says Batchewana Chief Dean Sayers. "Our project partners have demonstrated their commitment to BFN as a government. This mutual respect is the cornerstone of our relationship moving forward. Our First Nation is pleased with the validation of our sovereignty and our right to negotiate the use of our natural resources."
The Bow Lake Wind Project is located predominantly on Crown land, approximately 80 km northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The project will have the capacity to generate up to 60 MW of clean electricity using a total of 36 1.6 MW wind turbines. Construction on the project is expected to begin this year. Phase 1 is scheduled to be operational by early 2014, and Phase 2 is expected to go online by mid-2014.
The electricity generated by the project will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority under 20-year contracts that were awarded under the province's feed-in-tariff program.