The McLeod Lake Indian band signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EDF EN Canada on Friday in support of three proposed wind power developments in northern B.C.
EDF EN Canada is a subsidiary of France-based EDF Energies Nouvelles, a major developer of wind and solar projects in Europe and North America.
"The McLeod Lake Indian Band supports EDF EN Canada in the responsible development of sustainable, nonpolluting and environmentally-senstive wind energy in the Peace region," McLeod Lake Chief Derrek Orr said in a press release. "We look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship... and the addition of more wind power in our region."
The MOU relates to three proposed projects: the Wartenbe Wind Energy Project located 10 kilometres southeast of Chetwynd; the Sundance Wind Project 20 km north of Tumbler Ridge; and the Taylor Wind Project 28 km southeast of Fort St. John.
Of the three projects, the Wartenbe Wind Energy Project currently is the closest to construction and has already been issued a B.C. Environmental Assessment Certificate.
The 94 MW, approximately $150 million project calls for the installation of 47 wind turbines. The project is expected to create 50 jobs during construction and eight ongoing jobs at the wind farm.
The Sundance and Taylor wind projects are currently undergoing the B.C. Environmental Assessment process.
The Sundance Wind Project calls for the installation of 85 to 125 turbines, with a 250 MW capacity. The $600 million project is expected to generate 250 jobs during construction and 10 ongoing positions.
The 400 MW, $900 million Taylor Wind Project is expected to create 280 construction jobs and 12 permanent positions. According to the project description filed by EDF EN Canada to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, the project is expected to require the installation of 130 to 200 wind turbines.
If the Sundance and Taylor projects receive environmental approval and sign power purchase agreements with B.C. Hydro, EDF EN Canada predicts they could be in operation as early as 2017.
"We are extremely pleased to have entered this MOU with McLeod Lake Indian Band," EDF EN Canada vice-president Cory Basil said in a press release. "The MOU reinforces our relationship and commitment to meaningful engagement and consultation. We will continue to work together, respectfully and collaboratively, with [the band] on projects which will bring economic benefits and opportunities to the band and the Peace River region."
Attempts to reach Orr and a spokesperson for EDF EN Canada were unsuccessful.