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Naikun buys time on BC offshore

Five-year permit extension for 396MW scheme as bid to land PPA continues

Naikun buys time on BC offshore image

Canadian developer Naikun Wind Energy has won a five-year permit extension for a 396MW offshore wind project in British Columbia.

The province authorised a December 2019 deadline to begin construction for the up to 110-turbine scheme in the Hecate Strait, located between the Haida Gwaii islands and the mainland.

However, the C$2.5bn project lacks a power purchase agreement. If the province’s proposed liquefied natural gas export industry gets underway over the next few years it could open the door for Naikun, said chief executive Michael O’Connor.

In the meantime, the proponent is lining up suppliers. Naikun plans to install 100 Siemens G4 4MW 130 turbines over a 100sqkm area some 6km off the Haida Gwaii coast.

Monopile foundations will likely be fabricated by Germany’s EEW at its Korea facility, said O’Connor. “Korean steel is about 20% less costly than European steel and the factory is a lot closer for shipping to BC.”

The transition pieces and turbine towers also could be fabricated in Asia, he added.

Siemens has designed a project substation onshore at Haida Gwaii, eliminating the need for an offshore substation.

A 100km subsea transmission line would wheel power from the islands to the mainland grid.

The developer is considering two cable options: a 230kV to 280kV AC line or a 200kV to 300kV DC wire would tie into the Prince Rupert substation and BC Hydro’s 500kV transmission line.

The company is in talks with four cable suppliers, including companies in Korea, Japan and China.

In the meantime, Naikun continues to meet the utility to press its case for a power purchase agreement. “Until we get that commitment we can’t finalise these (supplier) agreements,” said O’Connor.

Image: the project will feature Siemens turbines (Siemens)

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