Wind power transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity through rotation of the turbine’s blades. This creates a mechanical force that a generator converts into electricity.
BC has 488.7 MW of installed wind energy capacity in five wind farms:
Bear Mountain, near Dawson Creek: 102 MW (34 Enercon MW turbines)
Dokie Wind Project: 144 MW (48 Vestas V-90 turbines)
Eye of the Wind, Grouse Mountain: 1.5 MW (Leitwind turbine)
Quality Wind, Tumbler Ridge: 144 MW
Knob Hill, Cape Scott, Vancouver Island: 99 MW
In 2012, a wind energy assessment by the consulting company Garrad Hassan found that due to the falling cost, wind energy is the most cost-effective renewable energy for large amounts of new generation in BC. The cost of turbines has fallen, and turbines optimized for sites with lower average wind speeds have produced a 34% increase in wind generation in these areas.
BC also has a wind turbine manufacturing company, Endurance Wind Power, based in Surrey, which manufactures 50kw and 225kw wind turbines for distributed wind power applications. Their induction-based turbines are sold across North America, the United Kingdom, Italy, and into an expanding global market.
According to BC Hydro, 19 of the top 20 most cost-effective wind energy sites in BC are in the Peace Region. A 2012 assessment indicates that wind energy resources outside the Peace region appear to be more competitive.
In rural areas, small wind turbines can be installed using BC Hydro's Net Metering Program (up to 100 kW), Fortis BC’s net metering program (up to 50 kw) or BC Hydro’s Standing Offer Program (up to 15 MW).