Recent Items – 2001
Oct. 23, 2001
DAWSON CREEK — BC Hydro has installed wind-monitoring equipment on existing infrastructure (referred to as “piggyback installations”) in Dawson Creek to measure the speed, direction and consistency of the wind.
These installations are the tenth and eleventh tall-tower wind monitoring devices installed in the province by BC Hydro.
Approximately five more monitoring stations (piggybacks and monitoring towers) are expected to be installed throughout B.C. over the next year, including two new towers in addition to the piggybacks in the Dawson Creek area.
The Dawson Creek towers are planned to be installed on private property, and BC Hydro asks that the public respect the owner of the property and refrain from trespassing.
This wind resource project is part of BC Hydro’s commitment to explore green energy sources that could be viable in the near future.
Options being considered in this green and alternative energy program include wind, micro hydro, woodwaste and community energy planning.
This project is separate from, but complementary to, BC Hydro’s recent request for proposals from experienced wind developers to contribute to the 20-megawatt green energy demonstration project planned for Vancouver Island, which will also include ocean wave technology and micro hydro.
“BC Hydro has made a firm commitment that 10 per cent of its new energy generation will be acquired through green energy,” said BC Hydro’s vice-president of Strategic Issues and Planning, Bruce Sampson.
“By monitoring the wind in these areas, we hope to identify realistic green energy options, including green energy supplies, new products or services, and possible new business ventures, as well as confirm that these resources are a good fit economically, environmentally and socially.”
For a typical installation, two anemometers (wind gauges) are mounted at 30 metres and 50 metres above the ground on the existing tower and a data logger is on site to capture the wind data.
Data will be recorded almost continuously from the monitoring equipment for one year. The data will be downloaded by telephone, cellular and manual connection and sent for analysis to BC Hydro’s offices in Burnaby.
Wind is currently used to generate electricity in places like Denmark, Germany, Great Britain and the US. In Canada, wind is generated or planned in Alberta, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland. In B.C., the success of wind generation is made more challenging by mountains and trees.
Although the price of hydroelectricity is very competitive, continued technological advances are expected to result in a decrease in the cost of wind generation.