Offshore Wind Energy Blows Into Canada

It looks like Canada is about ready to dive into the offshore wind energy business. In a statement released by NaiKun Wind Energy,  the company has been given the green light to begin construction on a large-scale offshore, 396 megawatt capacity wind farm located off the northwest coast of British Columbia.

Before getting underway, Naikun Wind had to pass through several federal screening processes and make commitments that ensured there would be no detrimental environmental, social or health effects involved with the development, installation or operation of their project. Studies have been concluded and now Naikun will press forward with installations.

offshore wind power

image via Vattenfall

The offshore wind farm could involve as many as 110 turbines placed in Hecate Strait, between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert. It’s an area off the coast of British Columbia that Naikun Wind claims offers ideal wind conditions with average annual wind speeds at over 22 MPH. The company thinks that, once fully operational, the offshore wind facility will generate enough power to feed roughly 130,000 homes and displace approximately 450,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

NaiKun Offshore Project

image via Naikun Wind Energy Group

While the company has secured permits for a building area of 550 square kilometers (roughly 212 square miles) they  estimate that the wind turbines will cover an area in the Strait of less than 100 square kilometers (about 38 square miles) when operational. Naikun, which is based in British Columbia, said as well the project will “result in at least 500 direct jobs during construction and 50 permanent jobs for maintenance and operations and over $400 million in direct expenditures in the province during construction, of which at least $250 million will benefit North Coast communities.”

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