Harvesting the power of wind

A Port Coquitlam numbered company is looking at harvesting wind energy for profit.

A numbered company has applied for an investigative use permit to test the wind speed and frequency on Mount Atkinson about nine kilometres east of Naramata in the Okanagan.

B.C.’s corporate registry lists Jinwei Li as the sole director of the numbered company, which was incorporated in May 2012 and is headquartered at a residential address in Port Coquitlam. Li could not be reached for comment.

According to documents attached to the application, the company has identified four sites on which it would erect 80-metre towers to test the wind. All of the sites can be accessed via existing logging roads, although some tree removal would be required for installation of an unspecified number of towers, which would have a three-metre-square footprint and rest on concrete foundations poured 2.5 metres deep.

If the investigative use permit is approved, the documents state wind testing would begin in October and last at least one year, but public consultation would start this month followed by geological, wildlife and other surveys in June.

As envisioned in the application documents, the wind farm would eventually feature 10 turbines, each 85 metres tall with a blade diameter of 82 metres, producing a total of 15 megawatts of electricity.

According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association guidelines, that’s enough to power up to 5,000 homes.

Public comment on the investigative use application will be accepted until Jan. 6, after which the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will decide on it.

Ministry spokesman Brennan Clarke said via email that there are about 45 active investigate use licences for wind in the Thompson-Okanagan and another 30 applications still in the works.

“To date no actual wind farm approvals have resulted from any of these permits,” Clarke added.

— Penticton Western News

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