Energy & Power
An Okanagan first: B.C. announces new wind farms
By Renée Francoeur
April 22, 2015 – BC Hydro is adding new wind power to the provincial electricity grid, including two new wind farms in the Okanagan—the first ever for the region, it says.
Three agreements were announced recently for new developments near West Kelowna, Summerland and Taylor that will provide enough electricity to power 14,000 homes a year, according to 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,” said Jessica McDonald, president and CEO of BC Hydro. “In B.C., more than 95% 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.”
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 streamlined procurement process for small clean energy projects in B.C.
The three projects will add about 45MW of clean wind capacity to BC Hydro’s system, stated the company. Once built, the projects will bring BC Hydro’s total capacity of wind power to more than 700MW.
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 said. Once the projects are operational, there will be between 5 and 10 full-time and part-time jobs for each wind farm for operations and maintenance.