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Wind farm on north Island clears hurdle

Dec 24 2011

A $280-million wind-farm project on Vancouver Island has been given the green light by the province after a review by the Environmental Assessment Office.

Nomis Power Corporation plans to erect as many as 50 wind turbines with a goal of producing 100 megawatts of wind energy - enough to provide energy for up to 30,000 homes.

The proposed Nahwitti Windfarm Project north of Port Hardy has been granted an environmental assessment certificate, but the approval comes with a long list of conditions.

The 104 conditions include establishing an erosion-control plan, complying with Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada directives, ensuring compensation for any destruction of fish habitat and implementing a trafficmanagement plan to maintain safe access in the vicinity of the project during construction.

The project will include 30 kilometres of new access roads and bridges, as well as upgrades to existing roads and bridges and up to 20 km of underground and above-ground transmission lines.

Nomis, under the management and direction of Rupert Peace Power Holdings, has also made a deal with the neighbouring Cape Scott Wind Farm Project to share transmission infrastructure connecting to the power grid near Port Hardy.

Local and provincial taxes generated over the 35-year lifespan of the project are estimated to be $68 million.

The seven-month construction period is expected to generate 180 person-years of direct employment, and the operational phase of the project is expected to create 350 person-years of full-time direct employment.

The project must still secure provincial approval and an electricity purchase agreement with B.C. Hydro.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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