Sea Breeze proposes wind farm on Mount Hays

Sea Breeze proposes a wind farm on Mount Hays consisting of a maximum of 24 turbines.

Investigative and licence areas for Sea Breeze’s proposal.

Investigative and licence areas for Sea Breeze’s proposal.

‘LNG Town’ it ain’t.

With so many liquefied natural gas terminal proposals near Prince Rupert, it can be easy to label it as the next LNG capital of North America, but one Vancouver-based company is looking to change that with an alternative energy proposal of their own.

A 48-megawatt (MW) wind farm, consisting of a maximum of 24 turbines has been proposed by Sea Breeze Power Corp. on Mount Hays.

While not the first company to propose such a venture on that location (Katabatic Power Corp. explored a similar wind project in the late 2000s), Sea Breeze is anticipating a strong response from the North Coast community for a desire for sustainable and renewable energy in the area.

The proponent has begun the permitting stage of the project, which includes a submitted Development Plan Template to the province.

“[Katabatic] wasn’t able to get their project to go for a variety of reasons and recently they walked away from it, so we didn’t buy this project from them but we’ve known [about the location] for some time,” said James Griffiths, manager, wind development at Sea Breeze.

“The northwest is an important place in B.C. in terms of energy issues, electrically and politically, so we took an interest there. We looked around and this project really stuck out to us as the best project in the region. It’s a project that’s constructable, it’s close to the port, where equipment would come in, it’s close to transmission lines where you’d interconnect the site, it already has a road up onto the site, which we’d need to upgrade, and we don’t see any major environmental critical flaws at the site.”

The manager described the appealing aspects of the location, including the elevated mountain, which forces accelerating wind over and above Mount Hays, the fact that it’s exposed to winter storms and storms coming in from the Pacific Ocean, it’s not too steep, and from the site, the port, substation, and the highway and transmission lines are all visible.“That’s a pretty unique set of circumstances,” said Griffiths.

Sea Breeze is utilizing Katabatic’s previous research to help supplement their own, including environmental studies published as public information.

“That’s not sufficient; it’s not our whole study, but it informs our work … We don’t have to do as much field work as we would normally, because there’s existing information there, and then in some cases they were able to confirm that an environmental factor existed or didn’t exist, so that helps guide us also,” said Griffiths.

Sea Breeze has already begun initial consultation work with five area First Nations – the Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams, Gitxaala, Kitsumkalum and Kitselas Nations concerning rights and title and has begun talks with the City of Prince Rupert on tax revenues and employment.

While the land in question is provincial crown land, it falls in the municipal boundaries of Prince Rupert. And while no First Nation nor the city has given blanket support for the project just yet, all are aware of the benefits that clean energy can bring,  provided any project is appropriate for the area. “That’s been as positive as we can expect at this time,” said the manager.

The 48 MW farm would be enough to power the city of Prince Rupert, though Griffiths specified that the final size of the project will be dependant on the contract between BC Hydro and Sea Breeze.

“That’s a medium-sized wind farm in British Columbia,” he said.

“We’re permitting up to 48 MW, but we won’t know until a later time how large of a contract we may get with BC Hydro.”

As Sea Breeze gets its permitting in order, Griffiths expects a timeline of a few years before construction would actually begin, including permitting through 2016-2017, getting financing and designs in order from 2018-2019 and ramping up construction in 2020 for a 2020 in-service date set out by BC Hydro, as an example.

The construction of the project is swift and would take approximately a year and would provide 150-200 construction jobs and six to eight full time technician positions while in operation.

“So that’s a much smaller number, but those jobs last for the duration of the project. Today’s projects are expected to last at least 25 years, so those are solid career jobs,” said the manager.

Sea Breeze is soliciting public feedback on the development plan template found at http://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/index.jsp and written comments can be emailed to Griffiths at j.griffiths@sbx-v.com, and CC’ed to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations project manager Leanne Helkenberg at Leanne.Helkenberg@gov.bc.ca until Sept. 16.

“We look forward to the input from the citizens of Prince Rupert … The project just also helps create an identity for Prince Rupert as a town that’s concerned with sustainability – that’s not just an LNG town, but has other things going for it. We think that would fit in nicely with the town and the direction they’re trying to go.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Most Read