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Landmark Wind Turbine To Be Built Atop Grouse Mountain By 2010


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North Vancouver council OKs huge wind turbine on Grouse

Large tower will be visible from all over region

Andy Ivens, The Province

Published: Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A controversial wind turbine 65 metres high near the peak of Grouse Mountain that would be visible for miles took one step closer to reality last night.

A passionate debate on the pros and cons of the big windmill ended with North Vancouver District council voting 4-3 to issue a permit to Grouse Mountain Resorts to build the turbine.

A spokesman for the resort noted time was running out in the construction window to have the turbine up and running in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics, to demonstrate the green-energy initiative.

When completed, the turbine will provide 20 per cent of the resort\'s electricity needs -- enough to power 400 homes.

Some councillors were worried about the threat to wildlife and the esthetics of installing the huge white windmill in the middle of a mountain skyline.

Coun. Mike Little predicted people will get used to the sight of the huge blades spinning.

\"I think people will see the windmill on the hill for about two weeks and then it\'ll just disappear into the horizon,\" said Little, who voted in favour.

Coun. Janice Harris was the strongest voice opposed.

\"The main issues are the environment and noise pollution,\" said Harris.

\"There is likely to be some bird and bat deaths,\" she said.

\"It\'s an issue for soaring and migratory birds and it\'s a clear and present danger to bats,\" said Harris, who criticized the turbine as \"another tourist attraction\" for Grouse Mountain Resorts.

\"It\'s simply a net loss to the environment,\" she said.

Coun. Lisa Muri put forward a motion to defer the decision until more public input had been received, but it failed.

\"This is [an issue of] green energy versus protecting wildlife,\" she said.

But Mayor Richard Walton, an environmentalist, said: \"We have to take some risk and we have to take some leadership,\" and led the vote in favour of issuing the permit.

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It could go elsewhere I'm sure where it won't be such an eyesore. I do agree that we should be using wind power but we shouldn't build one turbine just so it will give the impression that BC has an environmental concience. It won't even power the entire resort. It's just for show.

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There's a similar size wind turbine on Lake Ontario near the CNE in Toronto.

This tower on Grouse Mountain will be 341 ft to the top of the blade.

It will have a viewing platform 190 ft high to accommodate approx. 24 people.

The turbine will generate 1.5 MW, or about 20-25% of Grouse Mountain's electrical needs.

The max noise level will be at the base of the turbine and will be about 54 dB (A) or about the sound of a car driving through a residential neigbourhood.


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