NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc.
TSX VENTURE : NKW

NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc.

May 21, 2009 08:30 ET

NaiKun Wind Announces Public Comment Phase for Environmental Assessment

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 21, 2009) - NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NKW) announced today that the public comment phase of the environmental assessment for its 396MW offshore wind energy project on the northwest coast of B.C. will begin in one week. The public comment period begins on May 28, 2009 and continues until midnight on July 12, 2009.

The gathering of public input is an important part of NaiKun Wind's application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate. It also reflects the Company's commitment to ongoing community engagement to ensure that the project is developed in a manner that minimizes effects on the environment while maximizing benefits for local communities.

NaiKun Wind submitted a proposal for a long-term contract to BC Hydro as part of the provincial utility's Clean Power Call Request for Proposals. Power from the project will be used by BC Hydro to help meet the province's growing energy needs by generating enough clean, renewable electricity to power 130,000 homes. Contract awards under the Clean Power Call are expected to be announced in mid-summer.

A recent public opinion survey conducted for NaiKun Wind by Mustel Research indicated that 73 per cent of British Columbians support the Company's offshore wind energy project. Feedback gathered from local residents also indicates very strong support for wind energy.

NaiKun Wind is seeking environmental certification from both the federal and provincial governments and has submitted the project for a harmonized review process led by the provincial Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). The EAO accepted NaiKun Wind's application for a 180-day review process, effective May 20, 2009.

First Nations, local governments, interested organizations and members of the public are invited to review and comment on the application during the 45-day public comment period. Open houses will be held in North Coast communities to provide information about the application and gather input. The application and related documents can be accessed on the EAO's website - www.eao.gov.bc.ca. All comments must be submitted to the EAO by midnight on July 12, 2009.

"Our consultations over the years with local communities, including First Nations, residents and stakeholder groups have helped to improve the project," said NaiKun Wind Vice-President, Matt Burns. "With further input and guidance from the public, NaiKun Wind can continue to develop a project that reflects the values and interests of British Columbians and serves our province for generations to come."

Six years of detailed studies by scientists and area experts along with extensive consultations with First Nations and local communities contributed to NaiKun Wind's 4000-page application. The application covers 10 study areas including marine aquatic ecology, marine mammals, marine birds, archaeological resources, socio-economics and terrestrial ecology. It concludes that there is no indication of significant adverse effects in any of the 10 study areas.

The assessment also indicates notable positive effects for local communities and their economies through the creation of employment, education and training services, and clean energy.

An extensive list of environmental management, mitigation and monitoring activities has been committed to by NaiKun Wind in its application. These activities include a cooperative seabird study with Simon Fraser University and discussions with the Area 'A' Crab Association regarding crab migration studies. This and other work will continue to build on the extensive body of knowledge developed for the application and allow NaiKun Wind and local stakeholders to apply adaptive management practices to ensure the ongoing environmental compatibility of the project.

Open houses will be held in Prince Rupert on June 3, in Masset on June 8 and in Queen Charlotte City on June 9. The open houses will include a presentation by the provincial EAO and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, followed by a question and answer session.

To learn more about NaiKun Wind's application, visit www.naikun.ca to access the executive summary of the application, information sheets and a schedule for open houses.

NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. is a British Columbia-based renewable energy company. The first phase of its offshore wind energy project will generate enough electricity to power 130,000 B.C. homes, help the province reach its goal of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016, and play a significant role in combatting climate change. The project will also create an estimated 200 jobs during construction and 50 permanent jobs for maintenance and operations.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Contact Information

  • NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. - Media Enquiries
    Doug McClelland
    Director, Communications
    604-631-4487
    dmcclelland@naikun.ca
    or
    NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. - Investor Relations Enquiries
    Peter Murray
    Manager, Investor Relations
    604-631-4494
    pmurray@naikun.ca
    www.naikun.ca