Finavera Wind Energy Inc. (“Finavera” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: FVR) is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the McLeod Lake Indian Band for the development of the Company’s 47 megawatt (“MW”) Tumbler Ridge and 77 MW Wildmare Wind Energy Projects being developed in the Peace Region of British Columbia. The MOU marks the beginning of a partnership between McLeod Lake Indian Band and Finavera that will see benefits flow to both parties through the construction and operation of the wind projects that will produce 124 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity.
McLeod Lake Indian Band Chief Derek Orr said, “The McLeod Lake Indian Band is happy to support Finavera and the responsible energy they will be producing. We look forward to the success of this project and to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Finavera.”
Finavera Wind Energy CEO Jason Bak said, “We are extremely proud to enter into this partnership with the McLeod Lake Indian Band on the development of our wind projects in British Columbia. Chief Derek Orr has a strong vision for his community and we are thankful for their support of Finavera and these projects.”
The MOU is a mechanism through which the McLeod Lake Indian Band has provided its approval for the Tumbler Ridge and Wildmare Wind Projects. The MOU establishes the processes and sharing of benefits that will ensure an ongoing positive relationship with the McLeod Lake Indian Band. In return for their consent and support of Finavera’s Wind Projects, the McLeod Lake Indian Band will benefit through training, employment, business opportunities and financial participation in the projects. Finavera commits to providing clean, renewable energy that brings benefits to First Nations and all British Columbians in a manner that respects Aboriginal and Treaty rights and minimizes environmental impacts.
Finavera and the McLeod Lake Indian Band agreed to focus on the near term Tumbler Ridge and Wildmare Projects to ensure the agreements were in place in advance of a decision from the Environmental Assessment Office on the Company’s Environmental Assessment Applications. Finavera and McLeod Lake Indian Band agreed to continue discussions on an MOU for the Company’s Meikle and Bullmoose Wind Energy Projects.
The agreement with McLeod Lake Indian Band is the second of five such agreements that the Company hopes to conclude. The Company signed an MOU with Halfway River First Nation in 2010. Discussions with three other First Nations (West Moberly First Nation, Doig River First Nation and Saulteau First Nations) are currently in progress.