Vancouver, Canada [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. has been granted a provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate from the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) for its 396-megawatt (MW) offshore wind energy project in northwest British Columbia. This paves the way for construction of the project, which would be Canada’s first offshore wind energy installation. NaiKun Wind is one of only a handful of projects in BC Hydro’s Clean Power Call to have been granted a provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate.
“This is an important day for NaiKun Wind and for British Columbia’s North Coast communities,” said Paul Taylor, NaiKun Wind’s president and CEO. “The NaiKun Wind project will play an important role in helping the province reach its goal of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016 while also providing major economic benefits to B.C.’s North Coast communities.”
The NaiKun Wind project underwent a provincial/federal review led by the EAO which concluded the project will have no significant environmental, social or health effects on the surrounding area. The federal government’s decision on the environmental assessment application is expected in early 2010.
“NaiKun Wind’s environmental assessment review was a rigorous and transparent process led by the EAO that benefited from important input from provincial and federal agencies, First Nations, stakeholders and the public,” said Matt Burns, NaiKun Wind’s vice president responsible for the environmental file. “We would like to extend our appreciation to all those who contributed to the process in particular the Environmental Assessment Office for completing the review within the 180-day time-frame.”
Environmental certification marks the culmination of over six years of environmental studies, analysis and community consultation. The project is expected to result in more than CAN $400 million in direct expenditures in the province during construction, of which $250 million will benefit North Coast communities. The project represents an investment of close to $2 billion. Of this, approximately $400 million went toward construction expenses in B.C., during which time, the project created approximately 200 construction jobs. The project will create up to 50 long-term operations and maintenance jobs, the majority of which will remain in the local communities.