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German bank pays for development of first 700 MW of 3000 MW plan for British Columbia

Katabatic Power in British Columbia (BC) has formed a joint venture with Deutsche Bank AG, a German-headquartered international investment back, to develop the potentially huge Banks Island wind project near Prince Rupert in northwestern BC. Under the agreement, Katabatic will develop the first 700 MW of the full 3000 MW site potential over the next two years, focussing on project design, environmental permitting, turbine supply and getting a power purchase agreement. The company plans to bid some or all of this first phase into BC Hydro's planned 2007 call for tenders and hopes to begin construction in early 2009. If BC's monopoly utility does not award Katabatic a contract, says the company's Jonathan Raymond, it will look for other buyers, most likely in the US. "There are other potential purchasers on the West Coast. We're talking to any and all of them that we can." Transmission will be the key to finalising sales. "In general, there is available transmission for a large amount of wind power to come into the grid on the West Coast. How far you can move it is another issue. It just depends on who the buyer is and what access they have, first to their own transmission and to regional transmission," says Raymond. The same holds true for the full 3000 MW project, which the partners plan to build, as market conditions allow, over the next ten to 12 years. Deutsche Bank's stake in the partnership is confidential, says Raymond, as is the amount of money it is bringing to the table. "They are our financial partner and as well they are covering all of the development costs of the initiative they are also a strategic partner in helping us secure turbines and other long lead equipment."

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