Recent Items – 2003
December 11, 2003, By Gary Rusak, Daily News Staff
Peace Energy is facing some stiff competition for the lease on Bear Mountain that the energy co-op is hoping to secure to start up its innovative wind park.
“We were initially told that we couldn’t write a letter of intent without being incorporated,” said Greg Dueck, a director of the co-op. “So, this other company got their letter of intent in before us.”
The other company is the Oregon-based PPM Energy, a division of the
international firm ScottishPower. The lease is so highly sought after
due to a B.C. Hydro study that put Bear Mountain on the top of a list
of potential sites for wind energy production. Land and Water British
Columbia, a provincial office based in Fort St. John, issues the
“We feel the timing of the letter of intent should not be a determining factor in awarding the lease,” said Dueck. “As a regional organization that was widespread support in the Peace region, we are more capable of taking care of this lease than an outsider.”
David Kidd, Peace Energy’s interim manager detailed the reasons why the lease should fall into local hands.
“We live here and work here,” said Kidd. “We believe in the Peace and want to make sure that our abundance of renewable energy will be put to use for our and our children’s benefit.”
The co-op has been on pins and needles over the last few weeks awaiting the government’s decision. Dueck is finding the process for securing the lease a little bureaucratic in nature.
“It’s tough to find out who to talk to,” he said. “I don’t think they
planned on this happening.”
The guidelines for issuing the leases are set to change in March. The co-op is hoping that the government will at least hold off a decision until the new guidelines are announced. As it is the office says that a decision could come by the end of December. The co-op is optimistic that a solution can be worked out. Dueck added that he has contacted South Peace MLA Blair Lekstrom about the issue and is hoping that he can help the co-op. But, Dueck was quick to point out that the co-op will continue with or without the lease.
“We have a lot of options available,” said Dueck. “We can look at partnering with the bigger company or look at different places in farmer’s fields here or in Alberta.”
The co-op is also pursuing other projects including geothermal heating, solar electricity bio fuels and small-scale “off-grid” wind power.