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NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. has installed a C$2.5 million marine meteorological station at its offshore project site in northwestern British Columbia under permit from the Haida Power Authority. The first 320 MW phase of the offshore project will be located in the Haida energy field, which has some of Canada's best wind regimes, according to NaiKun.

The station is equipped with instruments that will measure and collect data pertaining to atmospheric conditions, wave and current climate, wind speed and direction, and air and sea temperatures. The measurement data will help NaiKun pre-engineer the project and identify the optimal siting of wind turbine locations. The station is the first offshore measurement initiative of its kind on North America's West Coast.

"The installation of the marine meteorological station is a critical step forward for the NaiKun project," says Ray Castelli, president and CEO of NaiKun Wind Development. "This is one of the most advanced meteorological stations available, and much of the design, componentry and assembly was done here in British Columbia with local companies."

Sandwell Engineering of Vancouver assisted NaiKun in designing the station and coordinating its installation. Ramsay Machine Works Ltd. in Sidney handled the fabrication, and New Westminster, British Columbia-based Fraser River Pile and Dredge managed the structure's transportation and installation. In Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Broadwater Industries fabricated the drill platform, and Foundex Explorations carried out bore hole extractions for soil sampling that will be used during the design of the wind farm. Smit Marine provided the necessary tugboat services.

"The fact that a number of British Columbia[-based] companies played important roles in the development and installation of this met station is significant," Castelli adds. "This kind of experience will help to improve the skills necessary to sustain growth in the wind industry."

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