Katabatic Power Corporation continues to pursue the development of a wind power project on Mount Hays with a public hearing scheduled for seven p.m. on July 23 following the late June application for a zoning bylaw amendment, a case without precedence in British Columbia.
“What’s unique about this is that it’s a wind power project taking place within the municipal boundary,” explained Mayor Herb Pond, enthusiastic about the future opportunities the project could bring to the community.
“There’s a small amount of revenue that will come to the city as a result of that. It’s also another source of power and we need that. It’s probably most significant in that it’s the first step towards a potentially much larger wind energy industry on the North Coast.”
Pond likened the initial project to a pilot project in which towers would be installed where services are easily accessible and transmission lines are close in order to get them operating.
“Then it’s a toe-hold,” said Pond, alluding to “really big expansion opportunities on the whole North Coast” that could “result in a lot of employment for a lot of people.”
Furthermore, Pond sees the project falling within the newly-established green vision for the city and sees Prince Rupert being a major contributor to the development of sustainable energy.
“Very clearly, as a culture, we need to find non-fossil fuel ways of generating power and British Columbia has been fortunate to have hydro power and lots of it,” he said.
“We could be seeing the beginning of another era of power development, and it’s very exciting.”
The proposed project consists of about 20 steel towers, each 80 metres tall, producing approximately 25 Megawatts of power or enough to supply some 12,000 homes. The electrical output is to be purchased on a 25 year power purchase agreement with B.C. Hydro and construction is expected to start in 2008.
By Brooke Ward
18 July 2007
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