New Wind Farm in the Works for Chetwynd
Mike Carter, Chetwynd Echo
CHETWYND – Natural Forces, a subsidiary of Wind Prospect British Columbia Inc. is in the early stages of an investigation into a possible wind farm 15 kilometres South of Chetwynd. Wind Prospect British Columbia Inc. (WPBCI) has submitted a Crown Land Tenure application to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations for a Wind Power Investigative Licence.
The project is in its early stages with no wind monitoring at the proposed site as of yet.
Wind Prospect BC Inc. recently purchased Nova Scotia based Natural Forces, a developer that specializes in smaller community based wind projects.
An Investigative licence is granted under the BC Land Act, Section 11 and is the form of tenure to authorize initial investigation to determine site placement of wind energy devices.
Section 11 of the Land Act allows the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) to dispose of surveyed or unsurveyed Crown Land through a number of means including but not limited to lease, sale and the granting of a licence to occupy.
The term for an investigative licence is up to five years with the option of a one-time renewal.
The proposed 4629-hectare site is located on unsurveyed Crown Land East of the Pine River, about 15 km South of Chetwynd and 10 km west of the hamlet of Lone Prairie.
“We are still working out some of the details of the potential project. It would be a smaller project, with five to ten turbines and hopefully opportunities for community ownership,” Natural Forces General Manager Jeff Norman said.
FrontCounter BC (FCBC), a provincial government organization that simplifies the process for individuals or small-to-medium-sized natural resource businesses, received Natural Forces Crown Land Tenure application to the MFLNRO in July.
District of Chetwynd Council passed a resolution Nov. 19 during its regular council meeting that District Administration would forward any comments Council may have to FCBC regarding Natural Forces application for a Wind Power Investigative License.
Charles Mercanti, FrontCounter BC Authorizations Officer did not respond a request for information at the time of publishing. If the Crown Land Tenure application is accepted, Natural Forces will then apply to the Integrated Land Management Bureau for the development.
The MFLNRO will then conduct a referral and consultation process including referrals with local, provincial and federal agencies, as well as a First Nation consultation.
If requested, Natural Forces will be required to issue to the MFLNRO, any letters of consent along with any additional items such as an appraisal report or survey.
Once the referral process is complete an adjudication process will begin to ensure a fair, transparent and consistent review of the relevant information while discussing any concerns identified in the process.
BC currently has three wind farms in operation according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s website.
The Bear Mountain Wind Park operated by AltaGas Ltd. Near Dawson Creek, the Eye of the Wind Turbine operated by Grouse Mountain Resorts Ltd. in Vancouver, and the Plutonic Power Corporation’s Dokie Ridge Wind Farm near Chetwynd.
Adding to that list, the Northeast News reported Nov. 22 that Capital Power’s Quality Wind project is now complete an in operation 15km northeast of Tumbler Ridge.
Natural Forces most recent project, the Fairmount Wind Farm located six km north of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, opened on Nov. 24.