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Environmental Assessment for an Offshore Wind Energy Project

Located off the coast of British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands in Hecate Strait, the site of the proposed NaiKun wind energy project is said to offer some of the strongest and most consistent winds anywhere in the world—ideal conditions for a renewable energy initiative of this type. This region is also highly valued by residents and visitors alike for its natural beauty and unspoiled wilderness. For this project to proceed, NaiKun would first need to complete a thorough environmental assessment in accordance with provincial and federal regulatory requirements. Archipelago undertook the marine
ecology component of this assessment, working closely with a multidisciplinary team of industry experts from Hemmera and Pottinger Gaherty Environmental Consultants. The fact that this project involved multiple geographic locations presented a unique challenge for the assessment team; the plan called for wind turbines to be located at a remote site on Dogfish Banks, with subsea marine cables extending across Hecate Strait to the mainland near Prince Rupert and the islands of Haida Gwaii. Additionally, the significance of the entire Dogfish Banks region to local Dungeness crab fisheries raised concerns about potential interactions with fisheries and possible impacts to the resource itself. The team needed to fully explore this issue and address these concerns within its environmental assessment.

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