The Okanagan Wind farm, the first wind energy project in the region, is now operational.
The 30MW wind farm is composed of 10 Senvion 3.2M114 CCV wind turbines with two 40-year purchase agreements with the BC Hydro and accounts for 6% of the province’s total wind capacity. Thanks to this wind farm project, the province will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 60,000 tonnes per annum, which is the equivalent of taking 12,000 cars off the roads.
Okanagan Wind was developed by Zero Emission Energy Developments, Inc. and took years in the making (9 months of construction) with the collaboration of Westbank First Nation, Upper Nicola Band, and the Penticton Indian Band.
According to the press release, here are some quick facts about the project:
- The facilities are expected to generate approximately 100,000 MWh of electricity annually, which is enough to power the equivalent of approximately 9,000 homes
- Materials, labour and equipment were sourced from local firms where possible, creating an investment of approximately $20 million in local businesses
- Wind projects are designed to last for 25 years and longer, contributing much-needed electricity supply as well as environmental benefits
President and CEO, Zero Emission Energy Developments, Inc., Alastair King said:
“Together we have shown that the health of our environment and our future generations can take priority above all else, and the Pennask and Shinish Creek small scale wind projects are perfect examples of this collaborative effort. ZED values its relationships with First Nations, stakeholders and the local community and we look forward to working together for many years to come.”
Westbank First Nation Chief Lindley said:
“Through the Okanagan Wind projects, we are pleased to continue a commitment to clean energy initiatives. We are proud to be a part of the process since development, through construction and now in operations alongside other local contractors to ensure the best results for our future. Our partnership and collaboration on these facilities helps to harness the natural wind energy supplied by our region, while bringing tangible benefits for our community members.”