Bear Mountain Wind poised to make history

DAWSON CREEK, BC ? The Peace Region was the site of several firsts this week as the first blade went on the first tower of what will be BC?s first operational wind park.

Bear Mountain Wind Park, located 15 kilometres southwest of Dawson Creek, is owned and operated by AltaGas of Calgary, AB and was initiated by Peace Energy Cooperative (PEC), a member-run, for profit cooperative based in Dawson Creek, BC. Bear Mountain Wind Park will generate 102 megawatts of power when it is fully commissioned in November of 2009.

?We?ve worked seven years for this,? said Steve Rison, president of PEC. ?We started the co-op to promote the development of renewable energy in the Peace River region and to keep some of the benefits for our members. We?re very excited and very proud.?

Foundations and electrical connections were installed in 2008 when the concrete foundations were poured and set. In May of this year, blades, electronics and lower tower sections began to arrive from Germany via the St Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. The 41 metre long blades were shipped by specially designed train cars from Thunder Bay to Dawson Creek. The top sections of the 78 metre towers were manufactured in Saskatchewan and travelled by articulated flatbed truck. The Canadian designed trucks are used in the wind industry around the world.

?This is making history, BC history, certainly Dawson Creek history,? said Mike Bernier, Mayor, Dawson Creek. ?There?s tremendous excitement in town because green energy fits so perfectly with our efforts to make Dawson Creek a sustainable community. It?s fantastic that this region will be the first in the province to actually produce wind energy.?

The 375 member Peace Energy Cooperative was formed in 2002 to develop and invest in renewable energy for the benefit of its membership. The Bear Mountain site near Dawson Creek was the cooperative?s first undertaking.

Bear Mountain Wind LP: Development partners:

Peace Energy Cooperative, Dawson Creek BC

AltaGas, Calgary AB

Full commission by November 2009 –

Total generating capacity: 102 megawatts

Turbines: Enercon E – 82 Total number: 34