Year active, successful: Naikun Wind Energy

  • Feb. 22, 2008 2:00 p.m.

New directors, key agreements and a formal agreement with the Haida Nation were notable achievements for NaiKun Wind Energy Group in 2007. “The past year was our most successful and active to date,” said NaiKun chair Michael Burns said at the company’s annual general meeting on Feb. 6 in Vancouver. Some highlights of the year include: a $2.5-million meteorological station installed in Hecate Strait, where the five-phase, 1750 megawatt project is expected to be located. As well, the Environmental Assessment Process terms of reference were approved in December 2007 and field research has been ongoing. When complete the wind farm will provide power to 120,000 mainland homes and the HaidaLink will connect the Haida Gwaii power grid into the mix. But company subsidiary NaiKun Wind Development Inc. also lost its president and chief executive officer, Ray Castelli. Mr. Castelli, who was born and raised in Prince Rupert, joined the NaiKun team in Feb. 2006. “He has moved on to a company called Weatherhaven,” said NaiKun spokesperson Lucy Shaw. She said that Mr. Castelli harnessed key people for the company’s board of directors and felt he had brought NaiKun as far as he could. He will continue to advise the company, she said. Fred Dabiri, president and CEO of David Nairne and Associates joined the board of directors this year. Mr. Dabiri has had a long history of working on the islands and has already been involved with this wind energy project for several years. Joe Houssian, who founded Intrawest Corporation, a luxury resort development company which sold in 2006, is also new to the board. A turbine expert, Jesper Hansen was added to the executive team, along with general counsel Tony Fogarassy and chief financial officer Doug King. NaiKun has also secured Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution to conduct studies for the project’s transmission options and ENMAX Corporation to help secure the electricity purchase agreement. The bid advisory team is now in place to prepare the company for BC Hydro’s Clean Power call. To help finance the project, NaiKun sold 10 million shares on a private placement basis through Cormark Securites in 2007 raising $35.5 million.

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