Written by Gregory Smith, April 12, 2017
Last week the Okanagan region of British Columbia gained its first operational wind power facilities, Okanagan Wind.
FOLLOWING SEVERAL YEARS of development and nine months of construction, we are proud to be delivering clean, emission-free electricity to the BC power grid and are grateful for the support of the community, our First Nations partners and local government officials. Bringing a project such as Okanagan Wind from development to operations requires years of hard work and tremendous effort and community collaboration. As we mark the beginning of operations, we are also celebrating the community spirit and determination that made Okanagan Wind possible.
Okanagan Wind is an example of how effective policy and collaborative development can deliver greener electricity to our homes and businesses while also fostering positive environmental change.
The Okanagan region of British Columbia is unique with a rich heritage defined by the First Nations, a stunning natural environment and a legacy of leadership spanning hundreds of years in trade, agriculture, viniculture — and now, renewable energy. Representing approximately 6% of BC’s installed wind capacity, Okanagan Wind positions local communities at the forefront of energy innovation in the 21st century.
OKANAGAN WIND IS A MODEL OF COMMUNITY COLLABORATION AND LEADERSHIP IN INNOVATION, AND SIGNALS PROGRESS AND OPPORTUNITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA’S GREEN ENERGY LANDSCAPE. OKANAGAN WIND BELONGS TO THE COMMUNITY, AND IS SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF IT.
Quality sustainable infrastructure such as Okanagan Wind underpins new local economic and growth opportunities, contributes to quality of life, and reduces our carbon footprint to improve the environment for generations to come. The success of this project also reflects the essence of effective infrastructure development, which is fundamentally about empowering citizens and partnering with communities to deliver long-term infrastructure solutions that provide benefits to all stakeholders.
From the celebration at Pennask back in September 2016 to commemorate the arrival of our first turbine blades to our annual Okanagan Wind scholarship for students within the Upper Nicola Band, Westbank First Nation or Penticton Indian Band, we are committed to social responsibility and respect for the communities we become a part of.
Above all, Okanagan Wind is a model of community collaboration and leadership in innovation, and signals progress and opportunity in British Columbia’s green energy landscape. Okanagan Wind belongs to the community, and is successful because of it — this month as we begin operations and for decades to come.