TimberWest Forest Corp., a British Columbia-based timberlands company, and EDP Renewables Canada Ltd. (EDPR Canada) have entered into a partnership and propose to develop, build, and operate large-scale wind projects on southern Vancouver Island.
The companies say the proposed projects present a unique opportunity to build power generation capacity on Vancouver Island, which generates only a third of its energy demand locally. At up to 300 MW of capacity, the projects would provide approximately C$600 million to C$750 million of potential investment and support hundreds of jobs on Vancouver Island, the partners add. To date, TimberWest and EDPR Canada say they have invested several million dollars in developing these projects.
‘These renewable energy projects would represent a significant investment on Vancouver Island,’ comments TimberWest President and CEO Brian Frank. ‘We have a tremendous opportunity here to develop wind energy on TimberWest's private land near where that energy is needed.’
In addition, the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the T'Sou-ke First Nation that envisions the potential of partnerships with the T'Sou-ke and other First Nations on wind projects. T'Sou-ke's traditional territory lies within the proposed wind project sites.
Gordon Planes, chief of the T'Sou-ke First Nation, says, ‘We look forward to working with TimberWest, EDPR Canada and other First Nations to see that the wind projects can be developed in a way that is respectful of First Nations people and their culture, aspirations and interests.’
To be successful, the companies say these projects would rely on BC Hydro to purchase the power, or deliver it directly to growing end use markets in the natural resources sector such as mining and liquefied natural gas projects.