Friday, June 12, 2009

Katabatic seeks council's help on Mount Hays wind farm project

The winds of progress seem to be dying off when it comes the status of the Mount Hays Wind Farm project.

Katabatic Power made a presentation at Prince Rupert City Council's most recent meeting this past Monday, at which time they offered up the suggestion that the fate of the project may be in peril, unless there was some form of “a long-term partial exemption/relief of property taxes”.

Company officials outlined how the current economic climate has impacted on their financial projections, as potential investors apparently seek out other options for their investment dollars.

In order to try and sway Council towards their way of thinking, Katabatic officials explained that they believe the project would have an economic boost for the community, with an injection of $12 million in economic activity during the projects construction, the creation of five or more jobs upon completion and the potential for tourist opportunities as tourists apparently prepare to line up to see windmills in action.

Wind power is starting to grow as an industry in the United States, aided in part by the US Government's push towards cleaner energy, projects there have been increasing over the last few years, a push that had started to work its way into Canada, especially in light of BC Hydro's call for clean energy options for this province.

It was with that potential that Katabatic Power began their quest for a piece of the wind power market on the North coast, a vision which as they identify in their own briefing to council hasn't quite resonated with investors yet.

The Northern View provided some background on their presentation and the options ahead for city council.

Now all they have to decide is whether they wish to invest (all be it in tax deferals and such) in a company that seems to be having problems attracting investors to their cause.

A question that will bring back more than a few memories of other high profile projects that haven't quite worked out well for the community over the last few years.

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