Positive Collaboration Between Industry and First Nations – Chief Dean Sayers

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AFN Aboriginal News Splash

wind_turbine_h-300x2251.jpgSAULT STE. MARIE – Business – “This partnership demonstrates that opportunities exist for positive collaboration between industry and First Nation. Our project partners have demonstrated their commitment to BFN as a government. This mutual respect is the cornerstone of our relationship moving forward. Our First Nation is pleased with the validation of our sovereignty and our right to negotiate the use of our natural resources,” stated Chief Dean Sayers.

Batchewana First Nation and BluEarth Renewables Inc. (BluEarth) have announced their partnership in the Bow Lake Wind Farm. At the present time, this relationship represents the largest economic partnership between a First Nation and a wind energy developer in Canada. Both partners are thrilled with the opportunity and the potential.

Project discussions began in June 2007 with the original project developers and the Batchewana First Nation. BluEarth, an Alberta based renewable energy developer, acquired the Bow Lake Wind Farm in 2011, and since that time has continued to work closely with the Batchewana First Nation to negotiate this partnership.

The partnership agreements became effective on December 21 2012.

“This partnership demonstrates that opportunities exist for positive collaboration between industry and First Nation. Our project partners have demonstrated their commitment to BFN as a government. This mutual respect is the cornerstone of our relationship moving forward. Our First Nation is pleased with the validation of our sovereignty and our right to negotiate the use of our natural resources,” added Chief Sayers.

Kent Brown, CEO of BluEarth, noted “We are very pleased with the commercialization of the partnership, respecting the rights and culture of the First Nation. We have worked hard together to reach this milestone event and look forward to a long-term relationship with the Batchewana First Nation.”

As a result of this partnership, going forward the project proponents will be Nodin Kitagan Limited Partnership (for Phase 1) and Nodin Kitagan 2 Limited Partnership (for Phase 2). The Project will continue to be known as the Bow Lake Wind Farm, however the Batchewana First Nation know and refer to the Project as Chinodin Chigumi Nodin Kitagan.

This project will contribute towards the achievement of the Ontario Government’s target of over 10,000 MW of non-hydro renewable energy by 2018. Reducing reliance on non-sustainable energy resources, such as coal, and taking advantage of low-impact sustainable resources like the wind, are important objectives for the Batchewana First Nation today, and for future generations.

About the Bow Lake Wind Project

The project is located approximately 80 km north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The site is situated in the district of Algoma, and within the original reserve of the Batchewana First Nation. The Project will have a nameplate capacity of 58.32 MW of clean renewable electricity using a total of 36 wind turbines. Each turbine will have the capacity to produce up to 1.62 MW of electricity.

It is anticipated that the Renewable Energy Approval will be filed and construction will subsequently begin on the Project 2013, with the project generating renewable power by late 2014. The electricity generated by the Project will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) under 20 year contracts which were awarded to the Project through the Ontario Feed-in-Tariff program.

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