Skip to content

Squamish winds to be tested for power delivery


Squamish's wind may be tapped for power as B.C. Hydro takes a new look at alternative energy sources.

The demise of B.C. Hydro's Duke Point project prompted the power company to put independent power producers on notice that a revised call for energy should be expected this fall.

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) first has to approve the Crown Corporation's plan and once that is done, B.C. Hydro intends to ask for projects that can deliver a minimum of 1,800 gigawatt-hours per year or enough energy for 180,000 homes.

According to a news release from B.C. Hydro, the energy is expected to come from a combination of large projects and small projects.

The District of Squamish (DOS) is currently working with a wind energy industry company called Sea Breeze to determine if the Squamish winds can viably generate energy from the wind. The DOS and Sea Breeze are working toward installing test towers in a number of places around Squamish to capture data on the local winds. The data is to be used to determine how appropriate Squamish is as a wind energy centre.Land and Water B.C. granted the DOS permission to put up test towers on Alice Ridge, Sechelt Ridge, Alice Lake, Levette Lake, Sechelt Lake, Brennan Ridge, Mt. Ellesmere and Goat Ridge.

Tapping the wind for its energy potential is something the DOS and Sea Breeze determined Squamish residents support through a consultation process led by former DOS economic development officer Lee Malleau.

Residents and recreational visitors on the other hand sent a clear message that it is unacceptable to develop run-of-the-river hydro electric projects on watercourses with high recreational values.

A proposed rezoning of land in the Ashlu Valley resulted in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District responding to public pressure by rejecting a rezoning proposal that would have allowed construction of a project on the Ashlu.

"The call design process has included regional dialogue sessions with more than 200 Independent Power Producers, stakeholders and First Nations, who submitted a thousand comments for our consideration," said Bev Van Ruyven, BC Hydro's Senior Vice President of Distribution. "As a result of this input, BC Hydro is confident there will be strong response to the call and healthy competition."

Once the call goes out it will be open to all proven technologies except nuclear energy.

"We believe the most prudent approach is to remain open to acquiring power over and above our target from this call as it will assist us in meeting our purpose to provide reliable power, at low cost for generations," said Van Ruyven.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks