Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gitxaala Nation tests the wind

Katabatic Power is continuing with their formative plans to build a relationship with the Gitxaala Nation regarding the Banks Island wind power development.

The energy company and the Gitxaala Nation are in the process of drafting a letter of understanding, a guideline for future cooperation on the project and an important step in the development of the development.

The process involved and what the next steps are in its evolution are detailed in the Daily News from Monday.

By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Monday, January 29, 2007
Pages one and three

The winds of change are blowing on the North Coast as the Gitxaala nation begin working with Katabatic Power to develop an enormous wind energy project on Banks Island.

Katabatic first officially met with the Gitxaala Nation of Kitkatla back in July 2006.

“We met once more in the fall, and are looking forward to building a strong partnership in the coming years,” said Anthony Duggleby, Katabatic’s CEO. ”Katabatic recognizes that Banks Island is within the traditional territory of the Gitxaala nation,”

“It’s clean energy, said Cliff White, Chief councilor of the Gitxaala Nation.

“It’s environmentally friendly, and that’s what people are looking for.

“Right now, we are working on developing an ongoing relationship. We are looking at the long term benefits that wind energy can bring to the Gitxaala Nation and to the North Coast.”

A letter of understanding, designed to guide the relationship between the Gitxaala and Katabatic on the proposed Banks Island wind power project, is being drafted.

The document provides a framework for developing future cooperation agreements in areas such as environmental and cultural protection, training and education, employment and partnerships.

The centre of the Gitxaala Nation is the community of Kitkatla on Dolphin Island, 60 km south of Prince Rupert and 20 km north of Banks Island. Access to the community is by boat or seaplane.

A joint venture between Katabatic and Deutsche Bank AG, announced earlier this month, has brought the project closer to reality.

“The Banks island Wind Farm is a rare find and the joint venture with Deutsche Bank is a vote of confidence in the local resource and Katabatic Power,” said Duggleby.

It not only represents a key milestone in the development of B. C.’s West Coast wind potential, but it could also advance the province closer to its goal of energy self-sufficiency, he added.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Katabatic will develop the first 700, megawatts (MW) of the full 3,000 MW Banks Island wind resource during the next two years, with construction set to commence in early 2009.

The full 3.000 MW project will be owned by Katabatic and Deutsche Bank AG through North Coast Wind Energy Corp., a subsidiary of Katabatic.

Development efforts during the next two years will focus on project design, environmental permitting, turbine supply, and electricity purchase agreement acquisition.

Total potential investment in the Banks Island wind resource is estimated at $6 billion.

Katabatic’s goal is to begin environmental assessment for the project this summer.

Katabatic is also involved in the development and construction of a smaller wind farm on Prince Rupert’s Mount Hays, pending applicable regulatory approvals.

In September 2006, Katabatic signed a 25-year electricity purchase agreement with B. C. Hydro, the province’s primary electricity provider, for the output of the 25.5 MW Mount Hays wind farm.

The $40 million Mount Hays project is scheduled to become the first commercial wind farm in the province, providing power to B. C. Hydro customers by the fall of 2008.

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