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BCSEA Welcomes BC’s first wind energy

Victoria, BC - The BC Sustainable Energy Association is very happy to congratulate AltaGas, Aeolis Wind Power Corporation and the Peace Energy Cooperative on the first delivery of wind energy into British Columbia’s grid.

“It has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. We hope this marks the beginning of a period of major growth for the wind energy sector,” said Guy Dauncey, President of the BCSEA.

The Bear Mountain Wind Park, located on a prominent mountain ridge 15 kilometres southwest of Dawson Creek, was initiated in 2003 by the 375 member Peace Energy Cooperative, and developed in partnership with the Victoria-based Aeolis Wind Power Corporation before ownership was assumed by AltaGas.

The 102 MW project uses 34 German-made Enercon E - 82 turbines. The 41-metre blades were shipped from Germany via the St Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, then by specially designed train cars from Thunder Bay to Dawson Creek. The top sections of the 78-metre towers were manufactured in Saskatchewan and trucked to Dawson Creek on Canadian-designed articulated flatbed trucks. For photographs of the project during construction, see www.peaceenergy.ca.

In 2008, when the wind energy assessment company Garrard Hassan updated their 2005 assessment for BC Hydro in which they outlined BC’s wind energy potential, they concluded that if 10% of BC’s potential was developed, it could provide 5,400 MW of electrical capacity, delivering over 16,000 GWh of electricity a year. The major areas for potential development were in the north of Vancouver Island and along the Sunshine Coast; BC’s North Coast including Hecate Strait off the Queen Charlotte Islands and inland around Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers; the Peace Region; and the Southern and Eastern Interior Region

Canada has a world-class wind resource, and the Canadian Wind Energy Association is aiming to deliver enough wind power to meet 25% of Canada’s electrical needs by 2025, with 55,000 MW of new capacity. This would entail the construction of 22,000 wind turbines spread across 450 locations, occupying about 5,500 square kilometres - about the size of Prince Edward Island. This would create 52,000 full-time wind energy jobs. In Quebec alone, there is 100,000 MW of wind energy potential within 25 kilometres of Hydro Quebec’s existing transmission lines.

“We look forward to the development of BC’s potential,” said Guy Dauncey. “Wind energy can help us to eliminate our dependency on imported fossil-fuelled power, meet BC’s future demand for electrical cars, buses, trains, and heat-pumps, and by export, assist in the closure of coal-fired power plants elsewhere in Canada and the US which are the leading cause of global warming due to their very high carbon emissions.”

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For further information, contact:
Guy Dauncey 250-881-1304