A B.C. company is looking at two remote mountains in the Interior for future wind farm projects.
The numbered company, 1334689 B.C. Ltd, plans to explore China Head Mountain and Black Dome Mountain, which are northwest of Clinton in the Thompson Nicola Regional District.
The potential location for the turbines is on unsurveyed Crown land and the project has several steps to pass before the company gets a green light, according to a report to the regional district board.
While remote, the wind farms could be the third and fourth wind farms in the central Interior, with the other two found west of the Okanagan Valley.
According to the report, the sites were chosen because they would have “minimal” environmental impacts with “exceptional” wind to resource from.
Details for the project are sparse in the report and there is no mention of where power would be directed to, but the company plans to station monitoring equipment on the two mountains to best measure how much power their turbines could generate.
The Pennask and Shinish Creek wind farms near the Okanagan currently generate 15 mega watts each, which can power a total 9,000 homes in a year.
The new exploration projects could take years before the company even drafts a development proposal. For up to five years, the monitoring stations will gauge the wind power on the two mountains while the company consults with nearby communities and First Nations.
While the report is being given to the regional district to consider at its April 21 meeting, much of the decision making for wind farms on Crown land lies with the province, especially in the stages before a company applies to develop the land.
The Pennask Summit project, for example, first began exploring a wind farm on the Thompson Plateau in 2010. The company, Okanagan Wind, finally got the green light to build the turbines five years later.
While there are few wind farms in the central and southern Interior of B.C., regional district development manager Regina Sadilkova told iNFOnews.ca there were many projects proposed to the province ten years ago.
Between 2010 and 2013, there were about 30 investigative licenses for wind farms in the Thompson Nicola regional district.
Sadilkova did not have specifics, but she said there are less licenses to explore Crown land in recent years.
According to Clean Energy B.C., there are eight other wind farms in the province. The Cape Scott Wind Farm on the northern tip of Vancouver Island generates more than 99 mega watts of electricity, and seven others in the Chetwynd and Dawson Creek area generate a combined 617 mega watts.
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