Vanderhoof — Saik’uz First Nation and Innergex Renewable Energy (IRE) have signed a 50/50 partnership agreement to develop a wind farm on Nulki Hills near Vanderhoof.
Saik’uz lands and resource manager Jackie Thomas said they had a financial analyst look at the First Nation’s best options.
“The biggest difference between this project and others is the company came to us right away. Site C is so controversial and I think clean energy is a good option… much more supported by First Nations,” she said.
The First Nation originally signed a letter of intent with the energy company in 2013 and since then Saik’uz and Innergex continue to work together on obtaining an Environmental Assessment Certificate and have started looking into getting a Power Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro.
Over the past year representatives from Saik’uz have toured other wind projects because the more information you have the better you can make a decision, Thomas said.
The proposed Nulki Hills wind farm represents up to 210 MW of renewable energy with 70 proposed wind turbines (max height of 120 m,1-3 MW each) that will generate enough electricity for approximately 50,000 to 59,000 households. If Saik’uz and Innergex are successful in obtaining the EAC and PPA, construction could start as early as 2017 and move to full operation by 2019.
“This partnership reflects our commitment to work together respectfully and collaboratively to build this project, which is on the traditional territory of Saik’uz. We expect that the project will bring sustainable economic development opportunities to both Saik’uz and the District of Vanderhoof,” Amrit Dhatt, Innergex spokeswomen said.