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okanagan lake directory, waterfront vacation rentals, local businesses, shopping, vernon, kelowna, westbank, westside, winfield, kaleden, oyama, peachland, penticton, summerland, naramata

OKANAGAN LAKE B.C.

WIND POWER

in the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO)

LAST UPDATE January 27, 2015

Click on your refresh button in the top menu, to be sure you see any updates.

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Fill out the form to make a comment on Wind Power

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Wind turbines cause health problems, residents say - W-Five program

Caution to the Wind - W-Five program

Despite possibly having the best wind resource in the world, Canada lags behind other nations in wind power production. A big part of the reason is a growing opposition to the mode of production that some consider a danger to wildlife and a hazard to human health.

Green energy wind farms are springing up across the country, but their suspected health effects have critics seeing red.

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VIDEO OF A WIND GENERATOR ON FIRE

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Wind energy touted as clean solution to B.C.’s power needs
By Jas Johal - Global News - June 25, 2013

A clean energy choice is being touted as the solution to meet growing energy demands in this province.

Wind farms are a low-cost and relatively low-impact energy supply.

While there are already several in the province, many more are needed to meet B.C.’s new industrial opportunities.

Near Tumbler Ridge, Capital Power’s wind farm isn’t too difficult to find. Here, 79 turbines dot the landscape.

Constructed in 2012, the farm now churns out enough energy to power 46,000 homes.

It’s one of three wind farms in B.C., with a fourth expected to be completed by the end of the year.

It’s just the start, as many in the industry are expecting billions of dollars in new projects to move forward this decade.

“We have everything in place,” says Nicholas Heap of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

“What we need is the opportunity to provide that electricity to B.C.”

The opportunity for clean energy is being re-kindled by old world energy sources.

Wind power producers want to power the next generation of B.C. mines and liquefied natural gas facilities.

Powering LNG will need tremendous amounts of energy.

At the moment, the government is looking seriously looking at building the controversial Site C dam along the Peace River just south of Fort St. John to power its LNG ambitions.

Clean energy producers are desperately hoping wind farms can be built to ride the multi-billion dollar LNG wave.

“When we look at LNG, upstream oil and gas, new mines – all of these are extremely energy intensive and all of these can be electrified,” says Heap.

Part of the enthusiasm comes from a clean energy renaissance in the United States, where wind power installations have been booming for six years.

Global adoption has led to technology improvement, made turbines more efficient and driven drown costs by twenty percent, making wind power significantly more cost competitive.

Currently just 1 per cent of the electricity generated in B.C. comes from wind energy. The industry wants to change that over the next decade to 17 per cent.

In order to achieve that, B.C. would go from four wind farms to forty.

The numbers may be low today, but Paul Kariya of the Clean Energy Association of B.C. says power derived from clean energy will play a major role in the province’s future generating capacity.

A major reason for our low wind power use can be blamed on decisions made by WAC Bennett.

BC Hydro’s extensive network has provided reliable power for decades.

We overbuilt and have reaped the rewards.

But now, our needs our growing again significantly because of LNG.

Private sector power producers were encouraged to build by the BC Liberals last decade, with the guarantee.

BC Hydro would sign lucrative contracts to buy the power.

Critics have said the public utility is over-paying now when it could purchase the power from the open market for a fraction of the cost, essentially subsidizing private business.

Many worry the same might happen with wind power.

“You’ve got take a long term view, if you were to look six months ago today, indeed the prices paid for long term power is higher than what we call the spot market,” says Kariya.

While the talk will continue surrounding B.C.’s widening energy gap and how it will be supplied.

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A Bladeless Wind Turbine? Researchers in The Netherlands Develop Prototype
CBC.ca - Alt News April 2, 2013

It looks like the lovechild of an airplane window and a box fan, minus, well...the fan part. Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has developed a bladeless wind turbine.

A working prototype was built on a small scale and according to its makers, it's well suited to urban milieus because there are no intermittent shadows and it causes far less noise than standard wind turbines.

It's called the EWICON (Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter), and it could be a game changer.

The project is a joint venture between Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and Delft University, who wondered whether it would be possible to convert kinetic energy from wind into electricity without turning blades.

So how does it work? Well, the explanation gets a little technical, but basically the turbine uses electrically charged water droplets to generate power. Check out this video for a full explanation:

The EWICON can be installed in various locations - on land or sea - and can also be integrated on to the roof of a tall building.

As for why a bladeless turbine is a big deal, it could help solve two of the biggest problems with standard wind power: intermittent shadows and loud noise.

Some people living near large-scale wind turbine projects have reported seeing flashes and strobe lights because of the intermittent shadows that standard turbines produce.

And British and American researchers studied noise levels at a green energy project in Maine and found that proximity to wind farms is correlated with sleep disturbances.

Conventional wind turbine installations have also created blowback in provinces like Ontario, with various community groups rising up to fight new projects due to these and other associated health concerns as well as concerns about the dangers caused to migrating birds.

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NL Architects a Dutch company designed these aesthetically pleasing wind generators.

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Notice placed in the Vernon Morning Star July 20, 2011

Bouleau Lake Wind Power Application

Bouleau Lake Wind Power Application

http://www.arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/index.jsp -->Search -->Search by File Number: 3410545

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.pdf icon February 27, 2012 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Front Counter BC Referral Application

The Regional Board conditionally supports a referral application from Front Counter BC for a Licence of Occupation on Crown land situated between Oyama Lake and the Beaver Lake/Dee Lake chain in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area. The applicant, Northland Power BC Wind Incorporated, wants to erect four meteorological towers in the Crown land area east of the District of Lake Country in order to conduct wind data monitoring to determine suitability for developing wind energy resources. The Board support is subject to several conditions including approval from the District of Lake Country and that environmental concerns will be addressed.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio February 27, 2012 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (206 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 27, 2012 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 7.4 FrontCounter BC Referral Application CL-12-01 - .wma (3.91 MB)

.pdf icon February 27, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

7.4 FrontCounter BC Referral Application for a License of Occupation
(Investigative License) to construct four meteorological towers. (CL-1201)
Central Okanagan East Electoral Area (All Directors)

Staff report dated February 21, 2012 outlined the referral application to consider a Crown land referral for a License of Occupation for a five-year term, to permit installation of four meteorological towers to assess the suitability of the sites for wind monitoring and data collection to determine characteristics of wind energy resources. The site is located in the vicinity of Long Mountain, situated between Oyama Lake and the Beaver Lake/Dee Lake area.

The Board previously supported an application in this area--the Province has informed staff that the application has now been abandoned.

District of Lake Country has also been referred to and will be discussing the referral in the near future. It was noted that there have been many investigation permit applications in the past but no projects have proceeded in this area to date.

GIVEN/FINDLATER
THAT FrontCounter BC referral application for a License of Occupation for installation of four meteorological towers (with one alternate site) be conditionally supported subject to the following:
• Design and installation of the towers is certified by a professional engineer;
• Receipt of approval from the District of Lake Country;
• That all issues and recommendations identified by the RDCO Environmental/Land Use Planner be addressed and/or incorporated into the License of Occupation.
AND FURTHER THAT the Development Services Department report dated February 21, 2012, be forwarded to FrontCounter BC's Planning Office for their information and consideration.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio February 27, 2012 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (206 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 27, 2012 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 7.4 FrontCounter BC Referral Application CL-12-01 - .wma (3.91 MB)

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.pdf icon December 13, 2010 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

FrontCounter BC Wind Monitoring Referral

The Regional Board has given conditional support to a FrontCounter BC referral application to construct wind monitoring and data collection towers. The applicant proposes installing ten towers in the vicinity of Pennask Creek Park, north and west of the Brenda Mines tailings reservoir. Two of the towers would be in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area, the other eight within the Thompson Nicola Regional District. The Board asks that the applicant ensures a professional engineer certifies the design and installation of the towers; that the installation complies with environmental guidelines and that the towers be decommissioned and sites rehabilitated when the monitoring and data collection program is complete.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio December 13, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (138 MB)

Windows Media File Icon December 13, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Penask Creek Wind Power Monitoring Application - .wma (3.99 MB)

.pdf icon December 13, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 9.5 FrontCounter BC Referral Application License of Occupation.pdf

*Note this is only a snippett of the 13 pages, please click link for entire contents

Agenda No: 9.5
Mtg. Date: Dec. 13,2010

DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT REPORT For the Regional Board December 13, 2010

TO: Chair & Members of the Regional Board
FROM: Ron Fralick, Planner 1
DATE: December 7,2010
SUBJECT: Front Counter BC Referral Application - License of Occupation (2 year term) for the construction of meteorological towers (Our File: CL-10-07) (Reference File: 3412250 & 3412252)
LOCATION: In the vicinity of Pennask Creek Park, north and west of the Brenda Mines tailings reservoir.
LEGAL: Unsurveyed Crown land (unknown parcel size)

RECOMMENDATION:
1. THAT Front Counter BC Referral Application CL-10-07 for a License of Occupation to construct ten meteorological towers be conditionally supported subject to the following:

~ Design and installation of the towers is certified by a professional engineer;
~ Compliance with the considerations and conditions noted by the RDCO Environmental/Land Use Planner, as per attached Memorandum of December 6, 2010;
~ The towers be decommissioned and the sites rehabilitated to their original state. when no longer required;
~ Compliance with all conditions and recommendations of the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD);
~ Compliance with conditions of all provincial agencies, stakeholders and First Nations;

2. AND FURTHER THAT the Development Services Department Report dated December 7, 2010 be forwarded to Front Counter BC for their information and consideration.

PURPOSE:
To consider a Crown Land Referral application to grant a License of Occupation (2 year term) for the construction of ten meteorological towers (5 towers within each Investigative Permit area) for the purpose of wind monitoring and data collection to determine characteristics of wind energy resource.

POLICY:
The proposal is in keeping with objectives and strategies of the Crown Land section of the Okanagan-Shuswap Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP).

RATIONALE:
~ LRMP supports Crown Land dispositions and reserves to meet a broad spectrum of conservation, settlement, economic development and other societal needs.
~ LRMP Energy section supports access to crown land for development of energy resources outside of protected areas.
~ Proposal responds to provincial policies encouraging 'green' energy.
~ Majority of the proposal is located within the TNRD.
~ Due to the remote location of the. sites and narrow width of the towers, visual impacts diminish rapidly with distance.

BACKGROUND:
This referral represents two applications for Licenses of Occupation (Pennask West and Pennask East) to allow installation of up t6 five (5) towers within each application area. It is noted that only two (2) of the proposed ten (10) tower sites are located within the Regional District of Central Okanagan (Central Okanagan West Electoral Area).  Specifically, tower sites #2 and #4 of the Pennask East area (License#3412252) will be located within the RDCO (see attached Location Map and General Site Maps). The remaining eight (8) tower sites will be located within the boundaries of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

A list of the agencies provided with a copy of the referral from Front Counter BC is also. attached.

RELEVANT INFORMATION:
APPLICANT: Zero Emission Energy Development
ZONING: Tower sites within RDCO are zoned RU1 Rural 1
OCP: N/A
EXISTING USE: Various resource &recreational uses on Crown Land
ALR: Not within the ALR

While information was not provided with this application, previous met tower applications that have been considered indicate that wind monitoring towers are typically 60 m in height and would be anchored with 4 sets of guy wires. Each. tower is equipped with wind and other meteorological measurement devices to measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity and pressure. We have also previously been advised that the towers will be removed at the end of the measurement period. Due to the remote location of the sites and narrow width of the towers, visual impacts diminish rapidly with distance.

AGENCY REFERRALS:
Engineering Services, the Parks Department, and the District of West Kelowna have no specific comments or objections to the. application.

The Chief Building Inspector notes that a building permit will be required for any buildings greater than 10 sq. m. in ,floor area. A structural engineer would be required to sign-off on the installation of any building as the Regional District would be unable to perform any inspections at these remote sites. A professional engineer for structural and geotechnical must oversee the installation of the wind towers.

The Regional District Environmental Advisory Commission and RDCO Environmental/Land Use Planner recommends that the Crown Land proposal be subject to a number of considerations and conditions (noted in the attached staff Memorandum of December 6,2010). In summary, these include;

• The proposed operation should be in compliance with the relevant policy direction. in the Okanagan-Shuswap LRMP;
• Any construction should follow best management practices;
• Insufficient information. was provided on how the sites. will be accessed and if new roads will be constructed or the extent of vegetation to be. cleared to accommodate the towers; .
• The applicant should adhere to previous comments provided by the Ministry of Environment on a similar application (CL-09-09);
• A site remediation plan be. in place prior to installation of the towers.

The District of Peachland advises that as a signatory to the BC Climate Action Charter, they support the general thrust of researching wind velocity as a means of developing alternative energy. With respect to the proposal at hand, the District would like to be assured that the development will not have a negative impact on the watershed, as per the District's 'Watershed Assessment for Drinking Water Source Protection Report' of 2010, as determined by an accredited professional.

No specific comments or recommendations have been received from any of the other agencies.

PLANNING STAFF COMMENTS:
The Okanagan - Shuswap LRMP supports Crown Land dispositions and reserves to meet a broad spectrum of conservation, settlement, economic development and other societal needs.

The Energy section of the LRMP supports access to crown land for development of energy resources outside of protected areas and the proposal responds to provincial policies encouraging 'green' energy.

As noted earlier, the majority of lands affected by this proposal are located within the TNRD. Previous comments from TNRD regarding similar applications that overlap with their jurisdiction indicate the importance of maintaining water quality of all affected watercourses in accord with goals of the Regional Growth Strategy. They have also recommended that monitoring towers be installed in conformance with all development policies of the TNRD's Lakeshore Development Guidelines.

In addition, TNRD previously advised that where the resource becomes viable and the proponent wishes to develop a wind farm operation, a rezoning application would be required. Issuance. of a
Licence of Occupation for this application should be subject to compliance with all conditions and
recommendations. made by the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD).

The Development Services. Department recommends that consideration of this Provincial Crown Land referral application for a License of Occupation be conditionally supported as per the Recommendation section highlighted at the beginning of the report.

Respectfully submitted,
Ron Fralick, MCIP
Planner 1

Dan Plamondon, Director of Development Services
Attach.
RF/th.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio December 13, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (138 MB)

Windows Media File Icon December 13, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Penask Creek Wind Power Monitoring Application - .wma (3.99 MB)

.pdf icon December 13, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

9.5 Report regarding a FrontCounter BC referral application to permit construction of meteorological towers for purpose of wind monitoring and data collection to determine characteristics of wind energy resource, located in the vicinity of Pennask Creek Park. (CL-10-07) Central Okanagan West Electoral Area (All Directors)

Staff report dated December 7, 2010 outlined the Crown land referral application for a 2-year term License of Occupation for construction of ten meteorological (5 towers within each investigative permit area) for the purpose of wind monitoring and data collection to determine characteristics of wind energy resource. The area is located in the vicinity of Pennask Creek Park.
Staff reviewed the application identifying the two sites within the Central Okanagan and agency comments.

It was noted that once testing is completed, should the applicant wish to move forward to develop the site, a new application would be required to FrontCounter BC. This application is for an investigative permit.

SHEPHERD/RULE
THAT FrontCounter BC referral application CL-10-07 for a License of Occupation to construct ten meteorological towers be conditionally supported subject to the following:
• Design and installation of the towers is certified by a professional engineer;
• Compliance with the considerations and conditions noted by the RDCO Environmental/Land Use Planner, as per attached Memorandum of December 6, 2010;
• The towers be decommissioned and the sites rehabilitated to their original state when no longer required;
• Compliance with all conditions and recommendations of the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD);
• Compliance with conditions of all provincial agencies, stakeholders and First Nations, as well as any airports in the vicinity of the site.

AND FURTHER THAT the Development Services Department report dated December 7, 2010 be forwarded to FrontCounter BC for their information and consideration.

CARRIED

The question was raised whether any of the site applications previously reviewed by the Board have been activated, decommissioned, or are proceeding to the next stage. Staff will contact FrontCounter BC to confirm and update the Board at a future Governance & Services Committee meeting.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio December 13, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (138 MB)

Windows Media File Icon December 13, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Penask Creek Wind Power Monitoring Application - .wma (3.99 MB)

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RDCO Board highlights
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 58921 - Dec 14, 2010

The following are highlights from the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board meeting held Monday, December 13, 2010

FrontCounter BC Wind Monitoring Referral - The Regional Board has given conditional support to a FrontCounter BC referral application to construct wind monitoring and data collection towers. The applicant proposes installing ten towers in the vicinity of Pennask Creek Park, north and west of the Brenda Mines tailings reservoir. Two of the towers would be in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area, the other eight within the Thompson Nicola Regional District. The Board asks that the applicant ensures a professional engineer certifies the design and installation of the towers that the installation complies with environmental guidelines and that the towers be decommissioned and sites rehabilitated when the monitoring and data collection program is complete

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B.C.'s largest wind farm starting up
Okanagan Similkameen - By Tom Fletcher - BC Local News - November 24, 2010

The Dokie Wind Farm near Chetwynd is constructed, and towers with 45-metre blades are being brought on line for testing.
MotionMedia photo

B.C.'s second wind farm is up and running.

With 48 towers, Dokie Wind Farm near Chetwynd is larger than the 34-tower Bear Mountain Wind near Dawson Creek, which started feeding the BC Hydro grid in October 2009.

Dokie is fully constructed and nine of its towers have begun producing power, Plutonic Power CEO Donald McInnes said in an interview Tuesday. Testing and electrical commissioning is underway on the rest.

"Our online due date to be selling electricity under our power agreement with BC Hydro is the end of March, and I think we're on track to better that deadline," McInnes said.

Dokie was developed by a startup company called EarthFirst Canada Inc., which signed a power purchase contract with BC Hydro in 2006. After spending $110 million on the project, EarthFirst went bankrupt in late 2008, and Plutonic and General Electric purchased it in June 2009.

Plutonic and GE also have a provincial environmental permit for a much larger project on nearby Wartenbe Mountain. The permit allows for up to 200 towers on nine ridges, to further develop the area identified in a 2004 survey as B.C.'s best land-based wind energy site.

McInnes said a feasibility study is underway on the Wartenbe Mountain terrain, and once a practical size is determined, the next step is seeking a power purchase contract with BC Hydro.

Dokie has cost the new owners $228 million. It will generate 340 gigawatt hours per year, enough to supply the equivalent of 34,000 homes.

Plutonic is best known as a major player in run-of-river power development, with the 196 megawatt East Toba River Montrose Creek project north of Powell River. Plutonic and GE are partners on that project, a proposed 166 megawatt second phase in the Upper Toba Valley and a much larger 1,027 megawatt system in nearby Bute Inlet.

Plutonic and GE took over operation of the Toba Montrose project from construction contractor Peter Kiewit Sons on Nov. 1. Its two generating systems came on line in May and July of this year.

McInnes said the Bute proposal remains on "care and maintenance" with hydrology and wildlife studies ongoing. Major engineering work won't begin until after BC Hydro completes its latest supply and demand forecast study, or the export market improves, he said.

The Bute proposal extends to 17 rivers, and could generate more power on an annual basis than the proposed Site C dam on the Peace River.

"We still think it's a fantastic resource and we're very keen on advancing it, and we're still advancing our discussions with the Homalco First Nation in good faith, because we think at some point there will be an opportunity to develop the project," McInnes said.

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Wind power surges in B.C.
By Tom Fletcher - BC Local News - December 13, 2009

Environmental permits have been issued for two large wind energy projects in B.C., and work is to resume in January on a half-finished project that went bankrupt last year.

As it concluded a historic land settlement with the Haida Nation, the B.C. government issued an environmental certificate last week for a 110-turbine offshore wind farm in Hecate Strait near Haida Gwaii. The $2 billion NaiKun project includes 80-metre towers anchored to the seabed and underwater cables that connect the island chain to the BC Hydro grid at Ridley Island near Prince Rupert.

Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom and Environment Minister Barry Penner issued a second permit to the Thunder Mountain Wind Project, 45 km southeast of Tumbler Ridge in northeastern B.C. Its plan includes 160 wind turbine towers, five substations, a 65 km power line, access and maintenance roads.

Both permits impose dozens of conditions, including fish and wildlife monitoring programs and ongoing consultation with affected aboriginal communities. The Haida Nation is a partner in the NaiKun project, and will operate and maintain it when it is completed.

Plutonic Power Corp. and GE Energy Financial Services announced Friday they have paid $52.5 million to take over the Dokie Wind Project near Chetwynd. That project has been under court-supervised creditor protection and work was stopped on its phase one site in late 2008.

The resource-rich Peace River region also boasts the province's best inland wind power sites. B.C.'s first producing wind farm began operation this year on Bear Mountain near Dawson Creek, and the Dokie plan includes a second windswept ridge in the Chetwynd-Tumbler Ridge area.

B.C. is a latecomer to wind power, with numerous sites developed in Alberta and most other provinces. B.C.'s abundance of cheap hydroelectric power has historically made alternative sources uncompetitive, but with no new dams built in 25 years, the province has directed BC Hydro to buy new supplies from private developers.

The province's latest energy plan also directs BC Hydro to become energy self-sufficient by 2016, using clean domestic sources for 90 per cent of new capacity.

The NaiKun project is expected to generate enough power to supply 130,000 homes, and Thunder Mountain would supply the equivalent of another 100,000 homes.

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.pdf icon December 14, 2009 Highlights of the Inaugural and Regular Regional Board Meetings

FrontCounter BC Referrals

The Regional Board conditionally supports two separate FrontCounter BC referral applications to construct wind monitoring meteorological towers, partially located within the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. One applicant proposes installing four monitoring towers near Sucker Lake, extending into the South Wightman Creek area, while a second applicant proposes building five towers near Barton and Esperon Lakes [upper portion of Shorts Creek]. While both are primarily located within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, their License of Occupation applications extend into the Central Okanagan regional district. The Board asks that the applicants ensure a professional engineer certifies the design and installation of the towers; that the towers don’t impact reservoir lakes and when no longer required, the tower sites are rehabilitated to their original state.

WHITEMAN CREEK AREA

Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Agenda December 14, 2009

Item No: 6.4

DEVELOPMENT & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT REPORT

For the Regional Board December 14th, 2009

TO: Chair & Members of the Regional Board
FROM: Ron Fralick, Planner 1
DATE: December 7,2009
SUBJECT: Front Counter BC Referral Application - License of Occupation to construct four meteorological towers (Our File: CL-09-08) (Reference File: 3412146)

LOCATION: Western portion of the permit area commences at Sucker Lake within the TNRD extending eastward to South Wightman Creek (Central Okanagan West)

LEGAL: All those parcels or tracts of land in the vicinity of Morrison Lake, Ferguson Lake and the confluence of South Whiteman and Whiteman Creeks, KDYD

RECOMMENDATION:

1. THAT Front Counter BC Referral Application CL-09-08 for a License of Occupation to construct four meteorological towers be conditionally supported subject to the following:

continued at link above .....

snippetts below

Each tower site will encompass 160 square metres in area, and all are located within an Investigative Permit area that covers up to 5,000 ha of land.

The wind monitoring towers will be 60 m in height (60 m is approx. 180 ft tall if 3 feet = 1 m ...  a 2 story house is approx. 20 feet tall .... this monitoring tower would be 9 - 2 story houses tall) and will be anchored with 4 sets of guy wires. Each tower will be equipped with wind and other meteorological measurement devices to measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity and pressure. The towers will be removed at the end of the measurement period. Due to the remote location of the sites and narrow width of the towers, visual impacts diminish rapidly with distance.

APPLICANT: C-Free Power Corp.

Map shows where wind monitoring towers will likely be located way up behind North Westside Road subdivisions
click for larger map

.pdf icon December 14, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

6.4 Report regarding FrontCounter BC referral application for the construction of meteorological towers located in the vicinity of Sucker Lake and South Wightman Creek (CL-09-08) Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. (All Directors)

Planning staff report dated December 7, 2009 outlined the referral application for construction of meteorological towers in the vicinity of Sucker Lake and South Wightman Creek. The referral application is for a License of Occupation to install four towers for purpose of wind monitoring and data collection to determine wind energy resource.

Concern was expressed regarding the alienation of potentially 5,000 hectares of Crown land. The application is for an investigative site and if a wind farm operation were to move forward, a new application would be required.

EDGSON/SHEPHERD
THAT FrontCounter BC referral application CL-09-08 for a License of Occupation to construct four meteorological towers in the vicinity of Sucker Lake and South Wightman Creek be conditionally supported subject to the following:

  • Design and installation of the towers is certified by a professional engineer;

  • That there be no impact on reservoir lakes in the area;

  • Compliance with recommendations made by the Ministry of Environment's Ecosystem Biologist dated November 5, 2009;

  • Adherence to the fencing recommendation noted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands;

  • Ensure that the towers be decommissioned and the sites rehabilitated to their original state when no longer required.

AND FURTHER THAT the Development & Environmental Services Department Report dated December 7, 2009 be forwarded to FrontCounter BC for their information and consideration.

CARRIED

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UPPER SHORTS CREEK AREA

Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Agenda December 14, 2009

Item No: 6.5

DEVELOPMENT & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT REPORT

For the Regional Board December 14th, 2009

TO: Chair & Members of the Regional Board
FROM: Ron Fralick, Planner 1
DATE: December 7,2009
SUBJECT: Front Counter BC Referral Application - License of Occupation to construct five meteorological towers (Our File: CL-09-09) (Reference File: 3412145)

LOCATION: In the vicinity of Barton and Esperon Lakes, predominantly within the Thompson Nicola Regional District (Central Okanagan West)

LEGAL: All that unsurveyed Crown land in the vicinity of Sandberg, Esperon and Barton Lakes, all of Kamloops Division Yale District and Osoyoos Division Yale District.

RECOMMENDATION:

1. THAT Front Counter BC Referral Application CL-09-09 for a License of Occupation to construct five meteorological towers be conditionally supported subject to the following:

continued at link above ..............

snippetts below

Plans provided by Front Counter BC indicate that one of the five tower sites appears to be located within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. The remaining four tower sites and majority of the investigative permit area is within the boundaries of the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

Each tower site will encompass 160 square metres in area. The sites are located within an Investigative Permit area that covers up to 5,000 ha of land. No new road construction or tree clearing is required as access to the four tower sites will be via existing forest roads. This represents the ninth wind monitoring referral application that has been received and considered by the Regional District.

The wind monitoring towers will be 60 m in height and will be anchored with 4 sets of guy wires. Each tower will be equipped with wind and other meteorological measurement devices to measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity and pressure. The towers will be removed at the end of the measurement period. Due to the remote location of the sites and narrow width of the towers, visual impacts diminish rapidly with distance.

APPLICANT: C-Free Power Corp.

Map showing location of wind monitoring towers near upper Shorts Creek
click for larger map

.pdf icon December 14, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

6.5 Report regarding FrontCounter BC referral application for the construction of meteorological towers located in the vicinity of Barton and Esperon Lakes (CL-09-09) Central Okanagan West Electoral Area (All Directors)

Planning staff report dated December 7, 2009 outlined the referral application for construction of meteorological towers in the vicinity of Barton and Esperon Lakes, predominantly within the Thompson Nicola Regional District. The referral application is for a License of Occupation to install five towers for purpose of wind monitoring and data collection to determine wind energy
resource.

EDGSON/HODGE
THAT FrontCounter BC referral application CL-09-09 for a License of Occupation in the vicinity of Barton and Esperon Lakes to construct five meteorological towers be conditionally supported subject to the following:

  • Design and installation of the towers is certified by a professional engineer;

  • That there be no impact on reservoir lakes in the area;

  • Compliance with all conditions and recommendations of the Thompson Nicola Regional District;

  • Ensure that the towers be decommissioned and the sites rehabilitated to their original state when no longer required.

By consensus it was agreed to add:
AND THAT FrontCounter BC inform the applicant that this is a high fire hazard area and that fire-safe precautions should be undertaken when working in the area;

AND FURTHER THAT the Development & Environmental Services Department Report dated December 7, 2009 be forwarded to Front Counter BC for their information and consideration.

CARRIED

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Potential for wind “farms” here appears to be waning
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - Published: April 11, 2009

Concerns that massive wind farms will one day consume vast tracts of Central Okanagan wilderness have begun to dissipate.

According to Central Okanagan Regional District chairman Robert Hobson, chances are slim that any existing or proposed test sites that span the Thompson/Okanagan will become actual wind farms capable of producing sufficient energy.

“Ninety-five per cent of them may never proceed,” said Hobson.

His comments follow on the heels of a presentation the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands made to the regional board Thursday. Ministry representative Matthew Simons told the board that 47 Crown land applications have come forward in the region to date.

Of those, six are in the Central Okanagan, above Lake Country, North Westside, West Kelowna and Peachland.

Wind conditions must be quite specific for the test sites to prove viable for energy production, the board was told.

The wind must

travel at speeds between seven and nine metres per second, at least 100 days of the year.

Anything less produces insufficient energy and anything more taxes the turbines.

For now, Lake Country Mayor James Baker, who has expressed concern about the impacts wind farms would have on watersheds, said he was satisfied to learn most testing will rule out wind farm development.

“Some of these applications appear to be from speculators, hoping that their site will be the one that will generate the right wind energy and be worth selling to the actual power companies that would develop the wind farms,” said Baker.

“So they seem to simply be reserving the sites for now.”

The board will continue to keep an eye on developments, however, to see if any sites prove viable, added Hobson.

“The board continues to be concerned about any secondary impacts of wind power generation (including) transmission lines and (access) roads.”

If a test site is successful, a company must apply again to the province to develop the wind farm on Crown land.

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.pdf icon April 9, 2009 Governance &Services Committee Meeting Minutes

3.3 Matthew Simons - Integrated Land Management Bureau re: Wind Energy Applications on Crown land

Matthew Simons provided an overview of the wind energy applications on Crown lands as requested previously by the Regional Board, including:

  • Windpower provincially: 14 wind-power projects in BC (5 have certificates), 9 are in the Peace country, Two projects being reviewed in Kamloops area - Mt. Kathleen on hold, Nicomen Creek recently submitted to Environmental Assessment Office for review.

  • For project to be feasible wind speed must be between 7-9 metres per second for approximately 30-35% of the year. Developers look at this type of information from BC Hydro to determine where there is potential for wind energy.

  • Allocation process reviewed including: application acceptance, clearance, referrals to various stakeholders, advertising/notification, aboriginal interest consideration, field inspection, decision, issuing of tenures.

  • Project phases: investigative phase, development phase, production phase and decommissioning phase.

  • Tenure types: general investigation area (investigative permit);
    meteorological towers (license of occupation - 2-3 years); road - works permit if road development is required,

  • Project development/construction phase - general area interim license of occupation, work permits.

  • Project production phase - lease; 30-year license of occupation, statutory right of way,

  • Project decommissioning - complies with policy.

  • Investigative status - 5,000 hectares needed.

Discussion:

A map of where interest is being shown (particularly heavy interest in the Cache Creek, Merritt area) was shown.

Not a great potential for wind resource in the Southern Interior but towers need to be set up to determine potential.

Is there any public funding going into the research? No, it is all private.

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April 9, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 3.3 Integrated Land Management Bureau Wind Energy Applications.pdf

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Wrestling with wind projects
By Jason Luciw - Kelowna Capital News - Published: February 24, 2009

Plans to test for wind energy in the Central Okanagan aren’t sitting well with some members of the regional district board.

A sixth wind power testing area, identified within the Central Okanagan Regional District, has raised concerns about gaps in the B.C. government’s consultation process and the environmental impacts of developing alternative energy sources.

A numbered B.C. company (0808088 B.C. Ltd.) has proposed three meteorological towers be erected on Carrot Mountain, immediately northwest of West Kelowna’s boundary, in a community watershed. The towers would test whether wind is frequent and fast enough to produce a significant energy source.

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater said he had no problem with the testing in principal. However, his municipality was not consulted, he stated. That’s troubling to the mayor because any resulting wind turbines would be built on 5,000 hectares of Crown land—some located inside the municipality’s boundary. “It’s the province that seems to put local government out of site, out of mind in this whole process,” said Findlater.

The mayor also noted that the Lakeview Irrigation District was not informed even though the meteorological towers and any subsequent wind turbines would fall within the utility’s watershed, which supplies drinking water to thousands of West Kelowna residents. “What’s the big problem with consulting with the people that provide the water?” Findlater asked.

The regional board heard Monday night, that the provincial agency responsible for processing Crown land lease applications, the Integrated Land Management Bureau, does not feel it’s necessary to consult with water purveyors, thinking that’s a local government’s responsibility.

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February 23, 2009 Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting

Wind Monitoring Referral Application

The Regional Board supports a referral application from FrontCounter BC for a License of Occupation to construct three towers to gather wind monitoring data in the vicinity of Carrot Mountain in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. The application is from a numbered BC company. Should FrontCounter BC consider granting approval, the Regional Board would like a number of conditions met including that the company ensure no new roads or buildings are proposed; that reservoir lakes are not impacted and that the application be considered by the District of West Kelowna and the Westbank and Lakeview Irrigation Districts. As well, the Board has directed staff to write FrontCounter BC outlining concerns about its application referral process requesting that in the future all impacted agencies are provided with an opportunity to comment.

Carrot Mountain Wind Monitoring #3412022 Licencse of Occupation to construct three towers to gather wind monitoring data
click for larger map

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January 26, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Report

Wind Monitoring Referral Applications

The Regional Board has supported two referral applications from FrontCounter BC for a License of Occupation to construct six meteorological towers (three each) in the vicinity of Bolivar Creek and Peachland Lake and Dome Rock Mountain, Tadpole Lake and Whiterocks Mountain. The applications are from Windlab Systems PTY Limited. Should FrontCounter BC consider granting approval, the Regional Board has asked that a number of conditions be met including that the company ensure no new roads or buildings are proposed; that a professional engineer certifies the design of the towers and that reservoir lakes are not impacted. In light of the number of previous wind monitoring data applications, the Regional Governance and Services Committee would like to hear from FrontCounter BC or the appropriate Provincial agency about its strategy for potential wind power generation projects.

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Wind energy test sites get regional district’s endorsement
By Jason Luciw - Kelowna Capital News - Published: January 31, 2009

Two more massive tracts of wilderness on the Westside are being targeted as potential wind farm sites.

Two Crown land applications have been forwarded to the B.C. government seeking permission to erect meteorological towers to test for wind frequencies and speeds east of Headwaters above Peachland, and near Whiterocks Mountain northwest of West Kelowna’s Lambly Lake watershed.

As part of the provincial application process local government has been asked to provide input.

The regional board gave its conditional blessing this week, saying it was not opposed to testing. But it does want to know more about the overall picture for wind farm construction in the Central Okanagan.

At least four other wind farm testing applications have come forward in the last year, raising concerns as to how many giant windmills could feasibly begin appearing on area mountainsides.

Kelowna Coun. Angela Reid said that if the board is to encourage industry to develop alternate energy, directors need to show support.

“These are just test sites and if we want to encourage the renewable energy industry in the Okanagan Valley, which I think we do as we move towards a low carbon future, then identifying those sites is very key to investors identifying whether or not this is a place they want to spend anymore time.”

Peachland Mayor Keith Fielding agreed, saying he would like to see the bigger picture, but in the meantime the testing should go forward.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker was a little more cautious however, expressing some reservations about what impacts rows of windmills could have on water quality in nearby reservoirs, for example.

He said a few meteorological testing towers aren’t taking up much land now, but the wind farms themselves and the transmission lines linking them to substations certainly would have a large footprint.

“It’s over (40,000 hectares), not just with these two, but with the ones we’ve seen previously,” said Baker. “There needs to be a little more investigation.”

The regional board will ask the government to send someone to speak to the matter, but will send a letter in support of the testing, in the meantime.

The regional district will also note in the letter that the provincial government failed to consult with the Westbank First Nation and the Okanagan Nation Alliance on one of the applications. Directors will ask the province to insure First Nations are consulted regarding all proposed uses on traditional territories.

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater noted that his municipality’s input was also overlooked, which the board should note in the letter too, he said.

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Highlights of the Inaugural and Regular Regional Board Meetings – December 15, 2008

Wind Monitoring Referral Application

The Regional Board has given conditional support to a referral application from FrontCounter BC for a License of Occupation to construct meteorological towers in the vicinity of Long Mountain. The application from Iberdrola Renewable Energy Canada Limited is to erect five – 60-metre guy wire anchored towers on vacant Crown Land parcels south and east of Oyama Lake and north of Beaver Lake to collect and monitor wind data. The company must ensure no new roads or buildings are proposed; that a professional engineer certifies the design and installation of the towers and that the application is forwarded to Kelowna International Airport for comments to ensure the towers will not impact flight paths or navigation systems. The application will also be referred to the District of Lake Country and Westbank First Nation for their consideration.

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SHORTS CREEK PROTECTED AREA APPROVED????

Wind energy testing site gets regional district support
By Jason Luciw - Kelowna Capital News - Published: November 25, 2008 10:00 PM

Another wind energy study on the west side of the lake has received conditional support from the regional district board.

The B.C. government wanted the CORD’s feedback on an application from Sea Breeze Energy Inc. The company has requested permission to install two meteorological towers, between 50 and 80 metres tall, in an area 10 kilometres west of Fintry, above Shorts Creek canyon.

The towers would be installed within a 5,000 hectare “investigative permit area,” according to regional planner Ron Fralick.

However, regional board director and Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd questioned whether the Okanagan Valley provided a viable source of wind energy, given that other companies’ investigations have produced negative results.

“I wonder how many of these towers are going to be put up?” she asked.

Several companies have made application to study wind energy sources throughout the Okanagan in the past two years, mostly in a vast area west of Summerland, Peachland and Westside.

None have produced promising data, said Shepherd.

“Are they sharing the data?” she asked. “It would be helpful to find out what information they’re gleaning from this.”

Board director and Peachland Mayor Graham Reid said that the Mount Kathleen study determined wind energy was “marginal” in the area. The company behind that project moved on to a more “promising” site in northern B.C.

As for the varying study sites, data from one location doesn’t apply to another, according to Reid.

“They’re really quite site specific because topography does change wind speeds and directions quite significantly.”

Several more applications across the region are likely to surface in the future, Reid added.

“Until they test out all the various heights up an down the valley and find out if any of them are commercially viable.”

CORD director and Kelowna Coun. Michelle Rule wanted to know what would become of all these test site towers. “Do they move them to another site?” asked Rule.

“We don’t want them sitting there forever.”

If the B.C. government approves the installation of the towers, the meteorological equipment would be permitted to stand for up to two years. Afterwards, the site would assumably be restored to its original condition, said Fralick.

But the board want assurances from Victoria that the meteorological towers will be decommissioned “when no longer required,” and assurances Kelowna International Airport would be consulted to ensure the towers would not interfere with airline navigation.

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1st towers at SHORTS CREEK

Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting– November 24, 2008

Wind Monitoring Towers Referral
The Regional Board has given its conditional support to a FrontCounter BC referral application for a License of Occupation that could see two meteorological towers installed on Crown Land. The applicant Sea Breeze Energy Incorporated wants to erect the up to 80-metre (approx. 240 feet tall) guy wire anchored towers on vacant Crown Land above the Shorts Creek canyon to collect data and monitor wind conditions for possible wind energy resources. The company must ensure that no new access roads or buildings are required at the site approximately 12 kilometres west of Fintry, that the tower design and installation is certified by a professional engineer and that the application be forwarded to Kelowna International Airport for comments to ensure towers won’t impact flight paths or navigation systems.

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Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Agenda November 24, 2008

Item 6.2 FrontCounter BC Referral Application.pdf

Re:  Wind Tower monitoring application up Shorts Creek

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http://www.wind-watch.org/news/category/locations/americas/canada/british-columbia/

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How big are the towers?

Industrial wind turbines are not the benign little structures you might see in a schoolyard or behind someone's house.

The widespread GE 1.5-megawatt model, for example, consists of 116-ft blades atop a 212-ft tower for a total height of 328 feet. The blades sweep an area just under an acre. The 1.8-megawatt Vestas V90 from Denmark is also common. Its 148-ft blades (sweeping more than 1.5 acres) are on a 262-ft tower, totaling 410 feet. Also gaining use in the U.S. is the 2-megawatt Gamesa G87 from Spain, which sports 143-ft blades (just under 1.5 acres) on a 256-ft tower, totaling 399 feet

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Press Release -- Costs vs. Benefits - from wind-watch.org
Conservation Is More Effective Than Wind Energy
Pointing to the very small contribution of wind, National Wind Watch calls for conservation instead of industrialization of rural and wild landscapes
Press Release Contact: Eric Rosenbloom, East Hardwick, Vermont, President
David Roberson, Rowe, Massachusetts, Vice-President

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rowe, Mass., July 30, 2007 -- The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that if the world's nations pursue carbon-reducing plans they are currently considering, then in 2030 there could be 18 times more electricity generated from the wind than there was in 2004.{1}

But because of continuing growth in demand, that would still represent less than five percent of the world's electricity production.{2}

In the U.S., the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind's share of electricity production will be less than one percent in 2030.{3}

National Wind Watch (NWW), a coalition of groups and individuals providing information about industrial wind energy development, says that conservation could easily make up wind's small potential contribution.

"It is obvious -- even in the IEA's very hopeful scenario -- that wind will never be an important part of electricity production," says NWW president Eric Rosenbloom, author of "A Problem With Wind Power".{4} "Wind does not now nor will it ever replace other sources to any significant degree," Rosenbloom says. He adds, "That is not to endorse any other source as problem free, it is simply facing the fact that wind is not a viable alternative."

Since wind's potential contribution is so small, modest conservation would avoid the adverse impacts of wind energy development, according to National Wind Watch.

Industrial-scale wind turbines are now typically well over 400 feet tall to the tip of their blades. They weigh anywhere from 150 to 350 tons. The blades sweep a vertical air space of 1.5 to 2 acres with tip speeds between 150 and 200 mph.{5} Each turbine requires acres of clearance and is secured in a buried platform of tons of steel-reinforced concrete.

Wind energy companies are targeting vulnerable rural communities and landscapes for their construction. Developers are building roads and wind power plants in wilderness areas, particularly on prominent ridge lines.

In May, the U.S. Congress was told about the increasing threat to birds and bats from unregulated wind energy development in migratory pathways and the degradation and fragmentation of habitat.{6} The results of a 5-month study of the new giant turbines on New York's Tug Hill plateau suggest that the annual toll for the complete facility is more than 16,000 birds and bats.{7}

Reports of health problems caused by noise from the machines are increasing. A team in Portugal investigating heart, lung, and nerve damage from industrial low-frequency noise has found that the conditions for causing "vibroacoustic disease" exist inside houses near large wind turbines.{8} Canadian News has reported families forced to leave their homes because of headaches, dizziness, irritability, and sheer lack of sleep.{9} A couple in England has publicized their experience of intrusive noise from turbines near their farm.{10} An English physician has interviewed residents around wind energy facilities and found serious noise problems to be commonplace.{11} In Maine, neighbors of the Mars Hill facility were shocked by the noise as soon as the first turbine was turned on.{12} Most of these people were initially supportive of the projects and believed the developers' assurances that they would not experience any problems.

"This is not green energy but a destructive boondoggle. It is even more intolerable that we as taxpayers are paying for it -- in so many ways", says NWW member Sue Sliwinski of New York.

Since the IEA shows that large-scale wind energy will not change anything for the better, and increasing evidence shows how much damage it does, National Wind Watch says that conserving even a small amount of electricity every year is obviously a better choice.

A little conservation can replace the perceived need to build giant wind turbines that do so much more harm than good.

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Self-sufficiency in power sensible
Kelowna Capital News - Letters - Published: November 04, 2008

To the editor:

Regarding letters about B.C. power self-sufficiency, (Privatization of Power Will Cost us Dearly, Oct. 19; B.C. Liberals Want Power Self-sufficiency, Oct. 31, Capital News) I really wonder why B.C. Hydro is not allowed to build and maintain run-of-the-river, wind farms and other power production for us.

They have done a good job to date with large projects and should be able to handle smaller projects more efficiently and economically than a variety of companies working in a variety of locations.

It seems simpler, would be easier to monitor regulations, should not involve NAFTA and WTO, could co-operate with local residents negating the need for laws overriding local prohibitions, be more environmentally conscious, and the land could stay Crown land which would be simpler for native land claims.

Most importantly, the energy and ownership would remain with British Columbians.

S. Fitzpatrick,
Kelowna

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Betting on the power of wind
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - Published: October 24, 2008

Instead of paying for his electricity, a Coldstream resident is powering forward in hopes that B.C. Hydro will be sending him a cheque.

Jim Brown has been diligently working towards capturing the energy of wind.

Through the use of an approximately 45-foot tall wind turbine shipped from China, which was installed at his Buchanan Road home Thursday, he is now able to power his own home.

Watching the crane carefully erect his turbine into place Thursday had Brown bubbling with excitement. But it’s what will happen next that he is most electrified for.

“Imagine creating your own electricity,” said Brown, whose turbine is one of the first in the area. “To me it’s unthinkably exciting.”

The theory is that with the power he is generating from the wind turbine, Brown will get a cheque from B.C. Hydro at the end of the year.

“If the wind blows hard enough,” said Brown. “If the thing goes really fast...theoretically at the end of the year they’d send me a cheque – not hard to take.”

Just how much energy he’ll get from his turbine depends on the amount of wind in the area, which the turbine will extract and convert into energy.

Brown’s hillside, Lavington home, which just happens to boast incredible valley views down the Monashees, has been described as the perfect location.

“We’ve lived here for 18 years and it’s always windy,” said Brown, adding that the system starts generating power at nine kilometre/hour winds and works best at 21.

There are a number of different capacity turbines, Brown’s being a two kilowatt.

If it’s not very windy, the turbine may only generate enough electricity to power a few lights. But at full capacity, it should be able to look after a home’s basic needs such as the fridge, small appliances and a vacuum.

Paul Wende, owner of Energy West Power Solutions, is the man behind the turbine. He installed the first one in the area at his own home, near Falkland. Brown’s is the second, but the first for Coldstream. Wende already has several in northern B.C. and is working on more, including one in Kamloops.

Capturing wind power isn’t a new concept, as people have been doing it for hundreds of years. Dutch-style windmills were first used in the 12th century and by the 1700s became a major source of power in Europe.

In more recent years in North America, farmers have traditionally been the only ones to harvest wind power to pump water or run generators.

But with increased energy prices and efforts to move away from greenhouse gas emissions, more residential homeowners are tapping into the power of wind.

“They apparently have them all over the States,” said Brown, who was inspired to construct his turbine by an Ontario story. His wife Cathy was touched that a wind turbine was constructed at a school in memory of a student who died of cancer. Cathy is also fighting a rare form of cancer.

But wind turbines aren’t for everyone. Costs, esthetics and other factors have kept the popularity of wind turbines low in the area.

But Gene Bryant, B.C. Hydro’s public affairs co-ordinator out of Vernon, says they can be a beneficial addition.

“More and more people are looking at this. This is how people can make a difference for themselves and the environment.”

While enough wind could power the home, at times wind turbines can also generate excess power. That’s where a cheque from Hydro could come in.

“He (Brown) would actually be putting electricity back into the Hydro system,” said Bryant.

Unlike Hydro meters at average homes which only go one way, Brown’s house will be installed with a special meter that goes both ways. Therefore, it can calculate how much power he puts back into the system.

If he produces more than he consumes, he just might start making money.

“We’re hoping it will pay for itself in about five years,” said Brown, who will be into the system for $7,000 to $10,000 when all is said and done.

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Willow Ridge Wind Power application for crown land
Wind Monitoring Crown Land Application for 5 hectares surrounding Bouleau Lake

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Wind turbines cause health problems, residents say
CTV.ca News Staff - Sympatico MSN News - October 5, 2008

Wind turbines are popping up in rural communities around the world, including Canada, in the hope that they will reduce reliance on coal and other sources for power. Currently, there are about 1,500 turbines across Canada and there are plans to build another 1,000 to 1,500 in the next year.

But some residents who live near wind farms complain the turbines cause a number of adverse health effects, such as crippling headaches, nose bleeds and a constant ringing in the ears.

Helen and Bill Fraser initially supported the nearby wind farm in Melancthon, Ont. One turbine sat close to the Fraser's kitchen window.

"We thought, more green energy, this is great," Helen told CTV News.

However, Helen says she developed headaches, body aches and she had trouble sleeping. The dog began wetting the floor at night.

"There were nights I was lying in bed and my heart would beat to the pulse of the turbine. It was an uneasy feeling," Helen said.

Ernie Marshall at first supported the wind farm that was placed near his home near Goderich, Ont. However, he also says that once the turbines got rolling, his health began to suffer.

"I had problems with my heart, with my eyes, my digestive system," Marshall told CTV News. "It traumatizes your whole body."

Dr. Nina Pierpont, a pediatrician in upstate New York, has interviewed dozens of people who live near windmills in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Her soon-to-be released book, Wind Turbine Syndrome, documents the litany of health problems experienced by some people who have wind farms near their homes.

Pierpont believes that with the growth of wind farms near residential areas, Wind Turbine Syndrome "likely will become an industrial plague," she states on her website.

Scientists have only begun studying the phenomenon in the last few years.

Some early findings suggest that wind turbines create a high intensity, low frequency sound that may have an effect on the body. Not only can the sound potentially cause debilitating illness. Some researchers believe that the vibrations the sound causes in the inner ear may lead to vibro-acoustic disease, which can cause dizziness, nausea and sleep disturbances.

However, officials with the Canadian Wind Energy Association point to a handful of studies they say prove that windmills lead to few, if any, adverse health effects.

"We know there have been complaints about health impacts of wind turbines," Sean Whittaker of the Canadian Wind Energy Association told CTV News.

"On the other hand, we know there are some 10,000 turbines installed across North America and complaints have been relatively few. There's been research done on this and to date that research has come to a fairly solid conclusion that wind turbines do not have an adverse impact on human health."

Whittaker says the windmill industry follows all regulations for where and how a wind farm can be established.

"It's important to point out that in order to install a wind farm, there is a very lengthy procedure to go through of environmental assessments, approvals, permits, regulatory approval," Whittaker said. "And those are skewed around making sure the turbines don't have an effect on people, on plants, animals, birds."

The issue has not just put experts at odds. Communities across North America are divided between residents who say local windmills have made them sick and their neighbours who don't believe them.

"Everyone was calling me a liar," Ernie Marshall said. "It don't matter who you talk to. You bring 'em out here and they'll say that noise don't bother us. Sit there for a week under that and listen to it and see what it does to your body."

The inconsistencies in the early research, coupled with the fact that some residents who live near wind turbines complain of such a wide array of symptoms, are evidence that further study is needed to determine if Wind Turbine Syndrome is a problem, how big of one and what should be done, experts say.

"Depending on your distance you'll have 30, 40, 50 per cent of people who are troubled, but not 100 per cent," Dr. Robert McMurtry of the University of Western Ontario told CTV News. "That's why it's important to do these studies to see just how many are troubled and how real it is."

More research will also help governments determine a standard distance that windmills should be located from homes and schools.

For now, provincial governments are setting their own guidelines, which call for windmills to sit about 400 metres from buildings.

Some groups, including the National Academy of Medicine in France, suggest larger setbacks between 1.5 and two kilometres away from homes and schools.

Some affected residents can only sell their homes and move away. The Frasers left their home of 32 years and moved to nearby Shelburne, Ont. They say their symptoms have, for the most part, vanished.

Ernie Marshall moved to the town of Seaforth, Ont., which is several kilometres away from the turbines near his former home.

"I had to get out or I wouldn't be standing here talking to you," Marshall said.

With a report from CTV medical specialist Avis Favaro and senior producer Elizabeth St. Philip

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Ontario dealing with wind-generated power right now
Kelowna Capital News Letters - March 30, 2008

To the editor:

Re: Conservationist Opposed to Wind Farm, March 26 Capital News Westside.

Wake up B.C.

Ontario is dealing with this (wind-generated power) right now and environmental impacts are not being addressed.

The “consultants” hired by the wind companies act more in the role as promoters (not independent biologists) and minimize to a ridiculous degree the amount of damage these huge turbines can cause.

Each turbine takes more steel than a jumbo jet and 50 truckloads of concrete. Large swaths of trees will be cleared to make way for the access roads.

The piddly amount of power generated by these turbines do not justify the environmental damage and carbon footprint in sensitive wildlife areas.

Maureen Anderson,
Amherstburg, Ont.

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Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting – January 28, 2008
Crown Land License Referral Application
The Regional Board has given conditional support to a Crown Land License of Occupation referral application from the province. A Toronto-based company would like to erect two 60-metre towers to monitor wind and collect data in the vicinity of Brenda Lake (south of the Okanagan Connector Highway 97-C) to determine the feasibility of wind power generation. The Regional Board has asked that the application be forwarded to Kelowna International Airport for comment considering the possible impact the proposed towers would have on aircraft navigation and control.

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Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes - January 28, 2008 (page 8-9)
#18/08 c) Report regarding Front Counter BC Referral Application for a License of Occupation to construct two meteorological towers. (CL-07-11) Central Okanagan West Electoral Area (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)
Developmental Services report dated January 22, 2008 outlined the referral application requesting approval of a License of Occupation to permit installation of two 60-meter meteorological towers for purpose of wind monitoring and data collection to determine the characteristics of wind energy resource.
Staff noted that one of the towers is not located within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. The question was raised that although this is an experimental project at this time, if the project was proved not to be viable does the Province require the towers to be removed.
#19/08 Edgson/Findlater
That provincial referral application for a License of Occupation (application #3411696/9817) be conditionally supported by the Regional Board of the Regional District of Central Okanagan subject to the following:
- Referral forwarded to the Kelowna International Airport for comment relative to navigation systems and controls prior to final approval for a license of occupation,
- Confirmation that no new access roads or buildings are proposed,
- Design and installation of the towers be certified by a professional engineer; and
- If the towers are no longer necessary that the owners be required to remove them from the site.
And further that Development Services report dated January 22, 2008 be forwarded to Front Counter BC's Planning Office for their information and consideration.
CARRIED

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Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting– October 1, 2007
Wind Monitoring and Data Collection Site
The Regional Board supports a License of Occupation referral application for a wind monitoring and data collection proposal as long as flight navigation isn’t impacted at Kelowna International
Airport. Aspen Wind Energy Incorporated wants to install five 50-metre meteorological towers in the area of Mount Gottfriedson, north of the Okanagan Connector overlapping the boundary of the Thompson-Nicola and Central Okanagan regional districts.

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Never doubt the ability of a small group of concerned citizens to change the world.  In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.

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If you have comments, ideas, solutions, concerns or complaints regarding global warming or any level of your local, B.C., or Canada government, please make a comment by filling out the form below and/or comment directly to the government itself.

Regional District of Central Okanagan

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