While many of the details weren't released, both the NaiKun Wind Energy Group and the Metlakatla Nation revealed that they had reached an agreement after six months of negotiations regarding a transmission route through Metlakatla territory.'
The Daily News featured the announcement as its front page story in the August 11th edition of the paper.
NAI’KUN INKS METLAKATLA POWER TRANSMISSION DEAL
Terms of the agreement being kept under wraps
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Monday, August 11, 2008
Pages one and three
Nai’Kun Wind Energy Group (TSX VENTURE:NKW) keeps propelling forward in their bid to become Canada’s first sea-based wind turbine farm.It was announced on Thursday that Nai’Kun has reached an agreement with the Metlakatla Nation to allow the construction of a Nai’Kun power transmission route through the north coast First Nation’s territory. But they remained coy about what exactly is being offered. “We wouldn’t want to get in to the financial benefits for the Metlakatla at this time but it will be a mutually beneficial agreement for both parties, providing opportunities for them,” said Matt Burns, Nai’Kun’s vice president of operations.
Although representatives for Nai’Kun and Metlakatla did not offer details about what was actually offered in exchange for the deal, they did say that the accord was the culmination of more than six months of consultation between the parties. “We are pleased to support Canada’s first offshore wind project, an important economic and environmental resource development,” Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton said in a press release. “The Nai’Kun project has great potential to combine clean energy development with long-term economic growth, particularly for north coast communities.”
Burns said no jobs were promised to Metlakatla but there would be other benefits for their new partners. “We are working with the Northwest Community College in providing future opportunities for all the region,” said Burns.“
We are trying to make a concerted effort to work with them.”
Chairman Michael C. Burns added: “We share a commitment to sustainable economic development (with First Nations) in the region and will collaborate to identify and enhance the opportunities for employment and skill development.”
Nai’Kun has already reached agreements with Haida Gwaii and :Lax Kw’alaams over the past 15 months.
Like Thursday’s agreement, the parties involved did not announce details of benefits for the two First Nations. The Lax Kw’alaams deal was similar to the Metlakatla deal as it involved the power transmission route through Lax Kw’alaams territory.
The Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams deals are also similar in that they both are dependent on the Environmental Assessment Board’s approval for the wind turbine farm.
The energy company is still in the research and data phase of their application for an environmental certificate from the Environmental Assessment Board of BC, which will be the final step it expects to complete in 2009.
Saying that, the Metlkatla agreement brings Nai’Kun that much closer to fulfilling their slow walk to the goal of building a 320-kilowatt wind turbine project off the northeast corner of the Queen Charlotte Islands.