The Drumheller Institution will soon be producing some of its own power as a pilot wind power project nears completion.
On Saturday, December 12 crews were observed installing the tower and turbines that will help generate power for the Drumheller Institution. Warden Mike Hanly says the project has been on its way for a while.
“The project has been in the works for about four years,” he says. “There are two sites in Canada that were chosen to pilot turbines, those being Drumheller and Spring Hill Nova Scotia.”
Once the site was selected, he says air studies were completed to make sure there was enough wind flow to power the turbines.
This season they selected a spot for the turbines, and completed a base. Parts began arriving more than half a year ago. The most visible part of the project happened last weekend, as the tower and turbine were installed.
“We have it on site and erected. Hopefully we’ll have it in service in the next few weeks,” said Hanly.
He says the goal of the project is to offset some of the institution power costs, and because it is a pilot, if it is successful the technology may be employed in other regions.
“It’s a boost for us,” he says. “Anything that can help us save a little on our electrical power, and make it a greener footprint up here, we are all in favour of it,” said Hanly. “Anything that is generated here will be consumed on site.”
While the turbines will help offset some of the costs, Hanly says the demands of the institution are too great for all of its electricity to be generated on site. There is also no risk of power running low and becoming a security issue.
“Our grid up here is specialized. We have our generator back up system that is already configured to off load power based on our scheduled needs,” said Hanly. "This won’t affect us at all.”
According to an article on the Natural Resources Canada web site, they are installing a 600kW turbine that will generate about 20 per cent of the power needed at the site, and save approximately $95,000 per year.