NaiKun Presses On, Despite Setback

Despite being denied consideration for a contract in British Columbia's clean power call last month, NaiKun company officials say the proposed 396 MW offshore wind project off British Columbia's Hecate Strait is progressing.

‘The wind resource in Hecate Strait is one of the strongest and most consistent in the world, and we will continue to work on developing a facility that harnesses its power,’ Paul Taylor, NaiKun's president and CEO said in a letter to company shareholders. ‘While BC Hydro's decision means that our timeline to begin construction in 2012 is delayed, our development work will carry on.’

NaiKun expects to receive an environmental approval from the federal government and the issuance of an environmental assessment certificate from the Haida Nation. Because the NaiKun offshore wind project is situated on Haida lands, the developer has sought tribal approval.

"Neither of these processes has identified significant adverse effects, and we expect them to be finalized by mid-year," Taylor wrote.

The developer is now awaiting a decision from Fisheries and Oceans Canada regarding its proposed Habitat Compensation Plan, which requires a developer to make an environmental improvement to compensate for its proposed offshore project.

"We have put forth what we believe to be a proposal which meets the required feasibility test and expect their decision on this document in the coming weeks," Taylor wrote. "Once finalized, the federal report will be issued to participating First Nations for their final review. Following that step, the federal government will review the feedback and issue its approvals."

The company also looks forward to a more streamlined and predictive process through British Columbia's upcoming Clean Energy Act (CEA), which some say could mirror Ontario's Green Energy and Green Economy Act. The legislation will likely be introduced later this month or early next month and is expected to improve the contract procurement process and encourage new investment in the renewable energy sector.

Once the CEA has been introduced, NaiKun Wind intends to engage the government and BC Hydro to discuss how best to advance the offshore wind project and the development of an offshore wind industry.

SOURCE: NaiKun Wind Energy Group

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