Peace Energy wins right to pursue wind farm on Bear Mountain.

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. Peace Energy has moved to the front of the line to submit a wind farm development application for Bear Mountain.

?The exciting news is that we can now move towards getting those wind turbines up on Bear Mountain,? says Peace Energy President Steve Rison. ?Getting access to the Bear Mountain site has really reinvigourated our board. It is the essential key to our whole strategy. It¹s not the only thing we can do, but it?s certainly the most important.

?Imagine, Bear Mountain, a few years from now…?

Bear Mountain near Dawson Creek has been identified as one of the most promising sites for developing wind power in British Columbia. While reviewing applications last fall, the board of Peace Energy, a Renewable Energy Cooperative, realized that the application submitted by a competitor was not compliant with the intent of the Land Act, so they decided they were obliged to mount a challenge.

With support by Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom and a Vancouver lawyer, Peace Energy?s challenge was successful. Land and Water British Columbia set aside the competitor?s bid, freeing Peace Energy to pursue the application.

?This really challenges us to get on with the job,? says incoming Manager Bill Studley.

Studley is taking over the manager?s job from David Kidd, who is moving to Lake Cowichan.

?David has been key to getting Peace Energy off the ground,? says Rison, who recently took over as Peace Energy president from Greg Dueck. ³Without Greg and David, we wouldn¹t be as far as we are.?

Rison notes there?s still a lengthy application process to go through and much remains to be done before construction can begin.

The Bear Mountain site is suitable for a modest wind park of up to 50 towers with a combined generating capacity of about 50 megawatt of electricity, enough to provide the power for about 15,000 homes, or the power for the entire City of Dawson Creek.

?There?s also obvious construction activity when the program goes ahead, and the spin-offs for the area can be tremendous,? Rison says. ?Wind farms generate a good deal of tourism activity and can attract other kinds of high-tech industry as well.?

Wind energy is the fastest-growing energy industry worldwide, based on clean, renewable power that will be around long after oil and gas reserves have been depleted.

?If we invest in these sustainable resources now, we can slow down the exploitation of our oil and gas reserves which will not only make them last longer, but will also result in cleaner air in the meantime,? Rison says.