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The Peace Region of British Columbia was the site of several firsts this week, as the first blade went on the first tower of what will be BC's first operational wind park.

Bear Mountain Wind Park is owned and operated by AltaGas of Calgary, Alberta, and was initiated by Peace Energy Cooperative (PEC), a member-run, for-profit cooperative based in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

Bear Mountain Wind Park is expected to generate 102 MW of power when it is fully commissioned in November 2009.

"We started the co-op to promote the development of renewable energy in the Peace River region and to keep some of the benefits for our members," says Steve Rison, president of PEC.

Foundations and electrical connections were installed in 2008, when the concrete foundations were poured and set. In May, blades, electronics and lower tower sections began to arrive from Germany via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

The 41-meter-long blades were shipped by specially designed train cars from Thunder Bay to Dawson Creek. The top sections of the 78-meter towers were manufactured in Saskatchewan and traveled by articulated flatbed truck.

The 375-member PEC was formed in 2002 to develop and invest in renewable energy for the benefit of its membership. The Bear Mountain site near Dawson Creek was the cooperative's first undertaking.

SOURCE: Peace Energy Cooperative

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