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City council begins process to approve Katabatic wind farm on Mount Hays  

The path to wind power on the North coast began its official journey at Monday night’s Prince Rupert city council meeting, as the recommendation to place the windfarms as an A1 – Amenities Zone’, received its first two readings.

Next up for the process will be an open public hearing on the proposed change to its zoning bylaw July 23 at 7 p.m. at city hall, where the public will be asked to provide its input to the Mount Hays windfarm project which is expected to produce 25 megawatts, an amount described as being enough to power 12,000 homes.

The turbines have already been purchased and delivery is expected to be in the fall of 2008, Katabatic Power has a 25-year operating agreement with B.C. Hydro and the anticipated start date for that agreement is October 2008.

The Daily News featured the latest developments on the front page of Wednesday’s paper.

City is at vanguard of wind farming in B.C.
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Page one

Katabatic Power will be the first land-based wind farm operation to start turning out power from within a municipal boundary.

On Monday night, council passed the first two readings of a bylaw that will allow the 17-turbine operation to produce power on the backside of Mount Hays.

“While it’s hardly earth shattering, it’s ground breaking. You are sitting here possibly as the first council in British Columbia to include wind farms as a use in its zoning bylaw,” said Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond.

Zeno Krekic, the city’s planning consultant, proposed that the city add wind farms as an acceptable use to its A1 – Amenities Zone’.

The city will hold a public hearing on the proposed change to its zoning bylaw July 23 at 7 p.m. at city hall.

“In Europe, they have been doing this for 20 years … but in the short time I had, I couldn’t find this in Canada and I definitely couldn’t find this in British Columbia,” said Krekic.

“It seems that the city is unique with respect to projects of this nature being located within municipal boundaries.”

Jonathan Raymond, chief operating officer of Katabatic Power, said the company hopes to start construction this winter. Katabatic Power has a 25-year operating agreement with B.C. Hydro and the start date for that agreement is October 2008.

Specifically, Katabatic plans to start fixing certain parts of Wantage Road this winter and will construct two new sections of road to access their site. They also plan on drilling holes to determine how best to anchor the towers that will support the turbines.

The project is expected to produce 25 megawatts, an amount described as being enough to power 12,000 homes.

The company is proposing to build B.C.’s first land-based wind farm in order to meet the growing demand for clean, non polluting energy sources.

They already ordered the turbines and expect those to be delivered in the fall of 2008.

Coun. Ken Cote said he is supportive of the project because it would add a power source in the community. This past winter was rough, given the number of times power was cut off during mud slides and the flooding on Highway 16.

“With our own wind farm up there, we will be able to crank out power until the cows come home,” said Coun. Ken Cote.

The area where the wind farm is being located is quite a distance from the community in an area with no other land uses, so Krekic felt it would be easiest to include wind farms in the existing A1 zone, rather than create a whole new zone.

That doesn’t mean a wind farm could pop up in any A1 zone in the community, he said, because there are quite a number of provincial land use hoops that any future proponents would have to jump through that would be brought to the city.

The company is also proposing to build a 700 megawatt wind farm, with 234 turbines on the north end of Banks Island. This project is a joint venture between Katabatic and Deutsche Bank AG.

A Town Called Podunk

12 July 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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