Background: Zero Emissions Energy Developments (ZED) initiative is to construct and operate 15-Megawatt (MW) wind power projects in order to supply clean, renewable, greenhouse gas-free power to BC Hydro. The projects will help meet provincial requirements for clean energy under the B.C. Clean Energy Act.
ZED, a B.C. based renewable energy company, contracted Cornerstone to plan, direct and implement their First Nations consultation and engagement program for wind energy projects.
Our Method:Working directly with the owner, Cornerstone initiated and implemented a comprehensive First Nations consultation approach. This included meeting with First Nations at the initial stages of the projects, maintaining open and transparent dialogue throughout the project planning phases, and ensuring that opportunities existed for meaningful participation in the projects. We also facilitated community meetings and traditional use studies. These consultation efforts allowed ZED to understand the nature of the interests involved and determine how those interests may be reasonably accommodated within the scope of the projects.
The Results: Through working closely with the proponent and the First Nations, Cornerstone successfully facilitated Mutual Benefits Agreements with the First Nations. Three wind farm projects are scheduled for construction in 2016, which are fully supported by First Nation communities in the region.