Ørsted and NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. have decided not to further pursue a joint development agreement for the Haida Energy Field Offshore Wind Project in British Columbia and to end partnership discussions.
Proposed on B.C.’s northwest coast, NaiKun’s 396 MW offshore wind project would generate enough energy to provide electricity to 130,000 B.C. homes. The project is at an advanced stage of development, with environmental approvals from the provincial and federal governments and agreements in place with key suppliers and First Nations, says NaiKun. Construction could begin within two years of the award of a power purchase agreement.
“We would like to thank Ørsted for assisting us in continuing to develop the project over the last 12 months and wish them well with their future endeavors,” states Michael O’Connor, CEO of NaiKun. “NaiKun is in current discussion with interested alternate partners who are familiar with the wind resource and the development that NaiKun has progressed over the past many years, including the accomplishments of the last year. With the industrial development on the North Coast of British Columbia and the growing demand and support for renewable energy, there are compelling reasons for the project to proceed to the development stage.”
“Since the formation of the partnership in September of 2017, progress has been made in the development of the project, but it is still in the development phase in a less mature market compared to others, like the U.S. East Coast,” adds Thomas Brostrom, president of Ørsted North America. “Ørsted believes that the business is, for the time being, best served by focusing our efforts on our rapidly expanding U.S. portfolio. We are thankful to NaiKun for the opportunity, and we look forward to future possibilities in Canada and will continue to follow the market closely.”
If the project does proceed, it is expected to result in an estimated 500 jobs during construction, 50 permanent jobs for maintenance and operations, and over C$400 million in direct expenditures in the province during construction, of which C$250 million will benefit North Coast communities, says NaiKun.