Weighing wind options
In B.C., there are opportunities to use wind to generate electricity. There are currently no utility-scale wind farms in operation in the Province of B.C. However, as a result of the F2006 Call for Power, BC Hydro has signed Electricity Purchase Agreements (EPA) with three wind farms in British Columbia.
The wind independent power producers (IPP) industry is growing in B.C. and more wind projects are expected to be bid into future power Calls. As an intermittent resource, wind energy offers some unique challenges for the operation and planning of the generation and transmission system.
The most recent study of wind energy potential entitled "Assessment of the Energy Potential and Estimated Costs of Wind Energy in British Columbia" [PDF, 1.6 MB] was undertaken for BC Hydro as part of the 2008 LTAP Resource Options Update.
Currently, a Mesoscale wind data study is underway that will provide additional information on wind characteristics and potential. Previously, BC Hydro undertook a wind mapping initiative in 2000 that helped identify sites that may have good potential. Further efforts to understand the characteristics and potential of wind were made through a wind monitoring program between 2000 and 2004.