Naikun group meets with islanders

  • Aug. 15, 2008 9:00 a.m.

Naikun Wind Energy, the company planning the windfarm off northeastern Graham Island, met with several groups on the islands last week. Lucy Shaw, Naikun’s Director of North Coast Relations and Susan Bruckner Director, Community Relations met with Queen Charlotte council, Parks Canada, the Tlell Advisory Committee and Naikoon Provincial Park staff. Charlie Palmer with Hemmera Envirochem, who’s leading Naikun’s environmental assessment, met with all groups except QC council. The three were here to share information about the project and the company, and to hear what islanders have to say about it. At Queen Charlotte council, Ms Shaw outlined a brief history of the planned project, and noted that right now, consultation, project design and environmental studies are underway, leading up to a commercial proposal to BC Hydro in November. Naikun plans to construct between 64 and 107 wind turbines in Hecate Strait, off the northeast coast of Graham Island, which will produce 320 megawatts of electricity. It expects to create between 30 and 50 long-term jobs once construction is finished. The project, which will be the first offshore wind project in Canada if it’s built, would also replace diesel generation on the islands, if Hydro agrees with the ‘Haidalink’ plan to connect the islands to the provincial power grid. Ms Shaw told council that local involvement is very important to the company, and that Naikun is committed to involving locals in environmental assessment studies. Upcoming opportunities for input include public meetings in both Masset and Skidegate in October, as well as open houses and the energy centre in Masset. That facility celebrates its first anniversary at the end of next week, with an open house Friday August 22.

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