How Peace Energy Cooperative Helped Build BC’s First Wind Park
Bear Mountain, situated 15km south-west of the City of Dawson Creek, BC, was considered by wind energy development companies to be one of the most attractive in BC due to its wind regime and closeness to existing infrastructure; roads, rail, highways and transmission lines. Wind data had been monitored and collected on Bear Mountain by BC Hydro until their release of the Investigative Use Permit (IUP) in 2003. PEC applied for and eventually received the permit to continue the collection of wind data with the vision of constructing an industrial wind energy facility.
PEC did not have the expertise to analyze the collected wind data, or develop and finance construction and sought partners to enable the project to move forward. Aeolis Wind Power Corporation of Sidney, BC, was selected from a number of companies PEC identified as potential partners. Aeolis analyzed the data, began the Environmental Assessment process, wind park layout and design, as well as submitted the project to the BC Hydro Call for Power. The project was successful in receiving and signing a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro in August of 2006, and receiving Provincial Environmental Certification in May 2007.
Bear Mountain Wind LP was created by Aeolis for ownership of the project with AltaGas of Calgary, AB, Aeolis Wind Power Corporation and Peace Energy – A Renewable Energy Cooperative as partners in the LP. Under the agreements PEC received development fees as an original development partner and the right to invest in the development of the wind park.
In 2007 the original ownership shares of the LP were exchanged for a Royalty Investment Agreement, giving AltaGas whole ownership of the project. As project founding members PEC retained development fees and the right to invest further in the equity development and construction of the project. Further investment by PEC, through a Member’s Rights Offering, was undertaken in the fall of 2009, in a new Royalty Agreement with Bear Mountain Wind LP rather than an equity investment.
The Bear Mountain Wind Park is fully commissioned, having achieved that status in October 2009 and receiving Federal certification for ecoEnergy for Renewable Power. BullFrog power has an agreement with Bear Mountain Wind for green attributes from the project.
Peace Energy will receive revenue from the Bear Mountain Wind Park project through the investments in the original partnership and construction of the project throughout the BC Hydro 25-year power purchase agreement, as well as revenue from the sale of the green attributes of the project. These revenue streams have created a firm, sustainable financial future for PEC.