British Columbia’s First Wind Farm

Following a tender process, B.C. Hydro has offered an Electricity Purchase Agreement for a 50 MW wind energy project at a site near Holberg in northern Vancouver Island that is being co-developed by two international companies. The Holberg Wind Energy Project will be British Columbia’s first wind energy project and is expected to begin construction activities in the second quarter, 2005 and reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of the same year.

Vancouver, Canada – October 1, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Developers said the project would be able to supply clean energy to meet the needs of approximately 17,000 households. The Holberg Wind Energy Project is a Joint Venture Partnership of Stothert Power Corp. a B.C. Company based in Vancouver, and Global Renewable Energy Partners Inc. (GREP) of La Jolla, California. GREP is the project development and financing subsidiary of wind turbine manufacturer NEG Micon A/S of Denmark. Stothert and GREP joined forces in December of 2002 to develop, finance and construct this project. Stothert originated the project by securing investigative permits to this Crown Lands site from Land and Water B.C. Holberg Wind Energy Project was one of seventy submissions in response to B.C. Hydro’s 2002/2003 Green Power Generation Call for Tenders in December of 2002. Originally referred to as the Cape Palmerston-Mt. Brandes Project, this wind energy project is located west of the town of Holberg, which in turn is 45 km. west of Port Hardy. The project site, in the northwest part of Vancouver Island, is in a region known for consistently strong winds. Wind resource assessment studies are ongoing. The project will have a capacity of 50 MW, and will consist of approximately 30 to 35 NEG Micon wind turbines. The land usage will be minimal, with only 50 hectares required for the operational area of the turbines and for the access roads. This is less than one percent of the permitted area. The site is in the traditional territory of Quatsino First Nation, with whom consultation meetings have been held. Some preliminary site work has been contracted to a Quatsino First Nation construction firm and discussions of other potential employment and investment opportunities are in progress. As project development activities proceed, environmental studies will continue to assess any potential impact on flora and fauna. Archeological studies, with particular attention to aboriginal cultural concerns, are also planned. All of these studies will be carried out with the full participation of representatives of Quatsino First Nation. Development activities to date have included extensive consultation with the Ministry of Forests, with Western Forest Products Limited who hold the timber licence for the area and with the Regional District Government of Mt. Waddington. All of these groups have provided great guidance and encouragement. The total project cost is estimated to be approximately ninety million dollars. Much like the Production Tax Credit in the U.S., the Canadian Federal Government, through Natural Resources Canada, has an incentive program for wind energy projects known as Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI). This program provides a payment of $10.00 per MWh for the first ten years of project life to those projects that qualify. This incentive is essential to the financial viability of projects such as Holberg. The Holberg project has been registered with Natural Resources Canada to initiate the process for qualifying for the WPPI.
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