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BC company looking into possible wind energy in Prince Rupert

Following in the footsteps of the Mount McDonald and Mount Hays wind farm proposals, Sea Breeze Power Corp of Vancouver is pursuing a possible development in the Prince Rupert area.

The company is planning to install a total of five meteorological towers, three across the harbour and two in the area across from Seal Cove near Shawatlan Lake, to gather information over the next year about the wind resource available for a potential Tuck Inlet Wind Farm project . The company is proposing the use of tubular meteorological towers to gather the information.

If the gathered data is “encouraging”, the company would then install additional towers to model wind speeds across the site.

However, Sea Breeze Power president and CEO Paul Manson said it is still far too early in the process to be talking about a wind farm on the north coast.

“If someone is interested in development, they have to apply to the government for an investigative use permit. We're asking for the right to test the quality of the wind in the area... We don't know what the quality of wind there is. You can do a lot of arm-chair studies, but until you test the wind on-site you don't know because there are a lot of topographical and regional considerations and computer models can be quite crude,” he said, noting that the company believes there could be a strong wind resource in the area and it is close to a transmission source.

“It took 11 years between filing a similar permit request and construction for a similar project on northern Vancouver Island.”

Should the project go ahead, each tower would be between 80 and 10 metres tall with three 30 to 65 metre blades. The energy produced would be sold back into the BC Hydro grid.

Sea Breeze Power is currently involved in the development of four other wind energy projects in BC, including the Cape Scott Wind Farm north of Port Hardy.

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