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Wind farms on Hutterite land approved

Two seven-turbine proposals in Tower Lake, Sunset Prairie
BC Hydro's Standing Offer Program allows small independent power projects to sell electricity to the grid.

A pair of wind farms on Hutterite land north of Dawson Creek have a green light from the Peace River Regional District.

On Aug. 11, regional district directors approved a rezoning application that will allow Renewable Energy Systems Canada to build turbines on two agricultural parcels owned by the South Peace Hutterian Brethren Church.

The company has approval to build two wind farms of up to seven turbines each on the two properties, located in the Tower Lake and Sunset Prairie areas.

While larger wind farm developers have largely pulled out of the province due to the power surplus expected to be created by the Site C dam, smaller projects have proliferated under BC Hydro's Standing Offer Program.

The program allows Independent Power Producers with projects smaller than 15 megawatts to sell power to the BC Hydro grid.

One such project in the rural Montney area north of Fort St. John was recently shelved due to opposition from residents.

Faced with a growing number of applications for small wind projects, the regional district considered developing specific zoning rules for wind farms, but eventually abandoned the proposal.

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