Ministry of Environment, Economy Sector, Environment Sector, Vancouver Island / Coast Region

Nahwitti Windfarm Project approved

/2011/12/nahwitti-windfarm-project-approved.html
Economy, Environment Thursday, December 22, 2011 2:45 PM


VICTORIA - Nomis Power Corporation has received an environmental assessment certificate for the proposed Nahwitti Windfarm Project located on Vancouver Island.

Nomis Power Corporation is under the management and direction of Rupert Peace Power Holdings, which is a privately held company.

Environment Minister Terry Lake and Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman made the decision to grant the environmental assessment certificate after considering the review led by B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office.

The proposed $280-million project will be located 11 km north of Holberg, 45 km northwest of Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. Once completed, the project will produce up to 100 megawatts of wind energy, enough to provide energy for up to 30,000 homes.

The proposed project will include up to 50 wind turbine generators, up to 30 km of new access roads and bridges as well as upgrades to existing roads and bridges and up to 20 km of underground and aboveground transmission lines. The proponent has reached an agreement with the proponents of the neighbouring wind energy project, Cape Scott Wind Farm Project, to share the transmission infrastructure connecting to the BC Hydro grid near Port Hardy.

The Environmental Assessment Office assessment report concluded the project is not expected to result in any significant adverse effects, based on the mitigation measures and conditions of the environmental assessment certificate.

The provincial environmental assessment certificate contains design features, mitigation measures and 104 conditions that form legally-binding requirements that Nomis Power Corporation must adhere to throughout various stages of the project. Key requirements include:

  • A technical advisory committee to review bird and bat monitoring data results and develop adaptive management strategies.
  • Implementation of a sediment and erosion control plan.
  • Compliance with applicable Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) operational statements and DFO's policy requiring compensation for any destruction of fish habitat.
  • Implementation of an access management plan to ensure access is provided for the public during all stages of construction and operation, except where it poses a safety concern.
  • Implementation of a traffic management plan to maintain safe access to the vicinity of the project during construction.

Based on the information provided to date by the proponent, the project did not require a federal environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. A federal environmental assessment may be required in the future as detailed design plans become available.

Local and provincial taxes generated over the 35-year lifespan of the project will be approximately $68-million including business licensing, lease, licence and tenure fees. The seven-month project 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. During operations, the proposed project will avoid greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 165,000 tonnes annually.

The Quatsino, Kwakiutl and Tlatlasikwala First Nations participated in the environmental assessment process and the proponent was directed to consult with these First Nations. The Province is satisfied that the Crown's duties to consult and accommodate First Nations' interests have been discharged as they relate to the decision to grant the environmental assessment certificate.

Before the project can proceed, Nomis Power Corporation must still obtain the necessary provincial authorizations, an electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro and potentially regulatory approval from federal responsible authorities.

More information on the environmental assessment certificate can be found at:

www.eao.gov.bc.ca

Contact:

Suntanu Dalal
Media Relations
Ministry of Environment
250 387-9745


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