PORT HARDY– The Cape Scott Wind Farm Project held an open house in Providence Place Inn this week to outline the project to the community and provide a forum for people to get answers to their questions.
Representatives from International Power, Vestas, Pacificus Biological Services, and Black & MacDonald/AMEC were on hand to answer questions while a slide presentation on the project played.
The project, which has been in research and planning for several years now, began construction this month on access roads to the site. It is scheduled to begin operating commercially in July 2013, providing 99mW of power and employing 150 employees at its peak.
The 4,500-hectare site at Knob Hill was initially selected by Seabreeze Power Corp. after an extensive research project and a call from BC Hydro for suppliers of green energy. International Power then bought phase one of the site after striking a deal with BC Hydro to supply them with 99mW, enough power to supply 30,000 homes. Seabreeze retains the phase two portion of the site with the option for future development.
The power will be manufactured by 55 turbines, each of which has a 50-metre radius and an 1800kW output. The turbines are designed by Vestas, who will also oversee the delivery of the huge components to the site. These are currently being received in Nanaimo and will make the journey north by truck, later in the summer.
Preparations for their arrival is currently underway, with Black & MacDonald/AMEC working on the existing road and adding another to improve access to the site. The next step will be to lay the foundations in anticipation of the turbines’ arrival.
Surespan Construction Ltd., meanwhile, has applied to the Regional District of Mount Waddington for a temporary use permit for a concrete batching plant on the site. The plant would manufacture concrete to be used in construction of the project. The RDMW board of directors was expected to discuss the application during its regular monthly meeting this week, after the Gazette went to press.
When the construction is in full swing the project will employ around 150 workers at the Cape Scott site, with around a dozen expected to be retained in a permanent capacity.
Pacificus are employed on the site as environmental monitors, ensuring that construction has a minimal impact on the area and complies with the project’s environmental commitments.
The onsite substation will be linked overland to BC Hydro’s substation at Byng Road through a new series of towers.
The wind farm is scheduled to begin commercial operations in July of 2013 and is contracted to provide power to BC Hydro for 20 years.