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Vancouver, British Columbia-based NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc. has announced that its application for the environmental assessment certificate for its 396 MW offshore wind energy project in Hecate Strait has been accepted for review.

The acceptance of the application by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) marks the initiation of the formal 180-day review process, which includes a 45-day public comment period.

Six years of detailed studies by scientists and area experts, along with extensive input from local communities and First Nations contributed to NaiKun Wind's 4,000-page application. The application covers 10 study areas, including marine mammals and birds, aquatic ecology and socioeconomics, and assesses the potential effects of the construction and operation of the project.

Based on the studies and a number of commitments outlined in the application, the assessment indicates that the project is not expected to result in significant adverse environmental effects. NaiKun Wind is confident that through the environmental assessment process, it will demonstrate that the project will have a net positive effect on North Coast communities and the province of British Columbia as a whole.

The process includes a public comment period to provide First Nations, local communities and the broader public the opportunity to review and comment on the application. Open houses will be held in North Coast communities to provide information about the application and seek input. Representatives from EAO and NaiKun Wind, along with environmental specialists who conducted the studies for the application, will be on hand to offer information and answer questions. The 45-day public comment period will run from May 28 to July 12.

A concurrent review of the project by the Haida Nation is under way to evaluate the potential effects of the project relating to the environment, traditional use and culture of the Haida people and lands.

NaiKun Wind anticipates completion of both processes by the end of the year.

SOURCE: NaiKun Wind Energy Group Inc.

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