New wind farms to be added to provincial power system

First ever wind farm to be built in the Okanagan

VANCOUVER – BC Hydro is adding new clean wind power to the provincial electricity grid, including two new wind farms in the Okanagan – the first ever for the region.

Three agreements were announced Wednesday for new developments near West Kelowna, Summerland and Taylor that will provide enough electricity to power 14,000 homes a year.

The agreements, with White Rock-based developer Zero Emission Energy Developments Inc., were signed under BC Hydro’s Standing Offer program – a program that offers a simplified, streamlined procurement process for small clean energy projects in B.C.

The three projects will add about 45 megawatts of clean wind capacity to BC Hydro’s system. Once built, the projects will bring BC Hydro’s total capacity of wind power to more than 700 megawatts.

Construction is scheduled to start late spring or early summer and will take about 18 months. Construction for each project will create between 25 and 50 job opportunities.

BC Hydro now has energy purchase agreements for 20 projects under the Standing Offer program that include solar, wind, biomass, biogas and hydro power. To be eligible, projects must be 15 megawatts or less in size.

Quotes:

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines
“I’m pleased to see additional wind projects being added to BC Hydro’s system. In B.C., we are fortunate to have hydro reservoirs that enable us to integrate variable wind output into the system and provide firm energy supply. The Site C project will provide greater capacity and support to integrate even more wind energy in the future.”

Jessica McDonald, President & CEO, BC Hydro
“Wind developments integrate naturally into our system – we already have big hydro dams that can store power and generate firm electricity when the wind is not blowing. In B.C., more than 95 per cent of the power produced each year is clean power. New wind projects add to this total and further diversify the clean, renewable energy supply that powers our homes and economy.”

Alastair King, President & CEO, Zero Emission Energy Developments Inc. (ZED)
“With the support of stakeholders and First Nations, coupled with exceptional programs like BC Hydro’s Standing Offer program, ZED is very pleased to develop B.C.’s first small scale, community-based wind power projects. ZED is also proud to provide British Columbians, and their future generations emissions free, renewable energy for many years to come.”

Ian Baillie, BC Regional Director, Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
“The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is pleased to see contracts signed under BC Hydro’s Standing Offer program for 45 megawatts of wind energy. British Columbia has a vast, untapped wind resource with a multitude of investors willing and able to build in the province. We look forward to continuing to work with BC Hydro and the Government of British Columbia to unlock this clean and renewable energy resource.”

Paul Kariya, Executive Director, Clean Energy Association of British Columbia
“With world class clean energy resources and over 90 clean energy projects currently in operation, British Columbia is truly a leader in clean energy. Clean Energy BC is thrilled that the Okanagan, a region that has been underrepresented by the sector, will soon be welcoming two new wind farms and that all of these projects involve strong First Nations partnerships.”

Facts:

  • Construction for the three new projects will begin late this spring or early this summer. All three projects are expected to start producing power in late 2016. They are:
    • The 15-megawatt Pennask Wind Farm near West Kelowna,
    • The 15-megawatt Shinish Creek Wind Farm near Summerland and
    • The 15-megawatt Septimus Creek Wind Farm near Taylor.
  • During construction, there will be between 25 and 50 contract employment opportunities for each project.
  • Once the wind projects are operational, there will be between 5 and 10 new, full-time and part-time jobs for each wind farm for operations and maintenance.
  • B.C. currently has four operating wind farms with electricity purchase agreements with BC Hydro. Three are in the Peace region and one is on Vancouver Island. They are:
    • The 144-megawatt Dokie Wind Energy project near Chetwynd,
    • The 102-megawatt Bear Mountain Wind project near Dawson Creek,
    • The 142-megawatt Quality Wind project near Tumbler Ridge and
    • The 99-megawatt Cape Scott Wind Farm on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
  • The 185-megawatt Meikle Wind project near Tumbler Ridge is under construction. It will start producing power in late 2016.

For more information please contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468

View the media release on the BC Hydro website.

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