Stalled NaiKun wind project granted extension

  • Feb. 7, 2015 6:00 a.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverThe stalled wind energy project proposed for Hecate Strait has been granted an extension to start the project.The one time extension, granted in December by the Province`s Environmental Assessment Office, requires the company to sustainably start its project by December 2019.It was originally granted a Environmental Assessment Certificate to proceed with the $2.5-billion project in 2009, but the next year NaiKun postponed engineering, permit applications and other construction planning activities until an Electric Purchase Agreement (EPA) was awarded by B.C Hydro.The Canadian developer is using the extra time to round up suppliers around the world for the massive, $2.5-billion construction project.Last year it became evident the unsuccessful bid for an EPA had hindered development.If the project goes forward, it will include 110 wind turbines erected over 156-square kilometres. An underwater cable would run from the turbines to a station near Prince Rupert then back to Haida Gwaii.The Environmental Assessment in 2009 concluded the Crown had fulfilled its obligations for the consultation and accommodation to First nations relating to the issuance for the EA certificate. The project had been screened by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, who decided in 2011 that the project is not likely to cause significant negative environmental effects. With the extension, NaiKun now hopes to secure the EPA with BC hydro. If it is not secured and NaiKun does not meet the new deadline, another extension will not be granted and the project would be unable to proceed.

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