Eye of the Wind turbine starts producing power for Grouse Mountain

The 65-metre-tallwind turbine perched atop Grouse Mountain is finally generating power for the resort after a delay of several months.

Chris Dagenais, a Grouse Mountain spokesperson, said the1.5-megawatt Eye of the Wind project was ready for commission in February. But a disagreement with B.C. Hydro prevented the launch.

Dagenais said the problem was resolved with the introduction of a monitoring system and installation of new transformers.

“Any time there’s a prototype, new technology like the Eye of the Wind, there’s a little bit of growing pains,” he told the Straight today (September 23) by phone. “And I think that’s what we experienced.”

The private wind-turbine project is expected to offset a quarter of the energy consumed by the resort and is intended to symbolize the potential to harness sources of alternative energy in B.C.

Comments (12) Add New Comment
Ray Belanger
What an Eye Sore!

The worst of it all is that those are known to kill birds. The birds of pray conservation area should change place if they want to keep them alive.
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Rating: -7
Art Wilson
I see it when I walk out my front door. I love it, but I’m tired of the false Green marketing! Face it. If it were not for the ViewPod â„¢ it would be a financial white elephant.

I love the careful wording of the press release. “The Eye of the Wind has a capacity of 1.5 megawatts – which Grouse Mountain estimates is enough to power up to 400 homes a year.” There is no way BC Hydro would take credit for the veracity of that claim!

The average residential customer in BC uses approximately 10,857 Kw hour per year.
400 x 10,857 Kw hour = 4,342.8 Mw hours (BC Hydro 2010 Annual Report)

So the capacity factor for this windmill can be calculated as: 4,342.8 / 13,140 = 33%
Not a chance! This is well above the capacity factor of most properly sited wind farms. Ontario’s average capacity factor is about 26%. http://bit.ly/9liCAF

Now if Grouse Mountain really wanted to be Green then they would turn off their lights when there was no night skiing. They give a host of reasons for not doing so but they are all fiction. Like the unnecessary light pollution the windmill is just another billboard to attract tourists. I’m okay with the truth. Don’t lie to me.

In 2009 Grouse Mountain applied to BC Hydro for an energy purchase agreement under the standing offer program under the name Winter Wind. (0831805 B.C. LTD) What happened to that?

Can we please get some investigative journalism instead of Press Release Regurgitation?
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Rating: +11
Art Wilson
Forgot to show how I got to 13,140 Mh hours

A 1.5 Mw turbine could theoretically generate 1.5Mw for 24 hours 365 days of the year. 1.5 x 24 x 365 = 13,140 Mw.h
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Rating: +6
Byron B
Wind power is a plus considering the alternatives. I'd rather see 200 if the these than 1 nuclear power facility.
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Rating: +9
Art Wilson
I see it when I walk out my front door. I love it, but I’m tired of the false Green marketing! Face it. If it were not for the ViewPod â„¢ it would be a financial white elephant.

I love the careful wording of the press release. “The Eye of the Wind has a capacity of 1.5 megawatts – which Grouse Mountain estimates is enough to power up to 400 homes a year.” There is no way BC Hydro would take credit for the veracity of that claim!

A 1.5 Mw turbine could theoretically generate 1.5Mw for 24 hours 365 days of the year. 1.5 x 24 x 365 = 13,140 Mw.h

The average residential customer in BC uses approximately 10,857 Kw hours per year.
400 x 10,857 Kw hours = 4,342.8 Mw hours (BC Hydro 2010 Annual Report)

So the capacity factor for this windmill can be calculated as: 4,342.8 / 13,140 = 33%
Not a chance! This is well above the capacity factor of most properly sited wind farms. Ontario’s average capacity factor is about 26%. http://bit.ly/9liCAF

Now if Grouse Mountain really wanted to be Green then they would turn off their lights when there was no night skiing. They give a host of reasons for not doing so but they are all fiction. Like the unnecessary light pollution the windmill is just another billboard to attract tourists. I’m okay with the truth. Don’t lie to me.

In 2009 Grouse Mountain & Leitwind, under the name Winter Wind (0831805 B.C. LTD), applied for an energy purchase agreement under BC Hydro’s standing offer program. What happened to that?

Can we please get some investigative journalism instead of Press Release Regurgitation?
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Rating: +12
@Art Wilson
I wouldn't say false advertising, 99% of people aren't engineers and the understanding of anything technical by most people is surprisingly limited. I think, what you trying to say is that wind power is only available 33% of the time and can”˜t power as many homes as BC Hydro says.
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Rating: +5
Art Wilson
To be clear, it’s not BC Hydro saying it is enough energy to power 400 homes. They know better than to make that claim. It was Grouse Mountain Resort.

I am saying, that based on the numbers GMR provides, their wind turbine will produce, on average, 33% of its maximum capacity. This is better that most wind farms in Canada. If this were truly the case we would have many wind turbines on our skyline. In reality Vancouver isn't that windy but marketing has no respect for reality.

It's all part of the fictitious marketing storey contrived by Storey Smithing http://storysmithing.com/

The production and installation of this wind turbine carries a considerable carbon cost which would have better been spent by locating it at a more productive site. If Grouse was interested in being Green and supporting Green energy they could contract with a properly sited wind farm to supply their electricity needs.

Better yet, they could just turn off their lights when there is no night skiing. No cost, carbon or dollars, but that would be like turning off the lights on a billboard.
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Rating: +9
Lee L
I still say the thing is BUTT UGLY and a blight on the ridgeline of Vancouver's beautiful North Shore mountains. The sooner it wears out and is removed for the greenwash scam that it is the better. Oh wait..how can it wear out when it never seems to be turning and this is 2011.
This was a really BAD tradeoff of visual aesthetics for a minor amount of power which did not have to be generated locally.
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Rating: -9
Leighmon
I'm really surprised that no one has actually managed to find any statistics on how much power it has generated on average so far. I can't find these numbers anywhere on the internet. Nor can I find historical windspeed data (it needs 9km/hr to work).
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Art Wilson
On October 16th 2010 the display screen inside the viewpod showed a lifetime production of 17,293 kWh. On August 15th, 2011 that same screen shows 99,613 kWh.

That’s a production of 82,320 kWh in 303 days or 272 kWh/day. The average BC home uses 10,857 kWh annually or 29.75 kWh daily. So the ‘Lie of the Wind’ is producing enough electricity to power 9 average BC homes. That is a far cry from the 400 they claim.

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Rating: +8
Norbert Kaysser
If the value of the electricity generated so far is a secret, I wonder why? I wonder if anyone knows when the electricity generated will have paid for the cost of building the windmill, assuming a cost of 7 cents a kilowatt hour, not the inflated 'feed in' price?
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GJ Tryon
Stupid, ugly - and predictable. It sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb - or is it the middle finger? - in nature's eye. The morons that run that resort will do anything to turn a buck, even if it means turning a pristine prospect into a mechanical billboard for "alternative energy." "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got till it's gone... "
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