NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The wind turbine is now spinning at the top of Grouse Mountain, and officially generating power. The ‘Eye of the Wind’ turbine inauguration took place early this afternoon before the clouds lifted, limiting the visual spectacle for hundreds of people including B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and visiting dignitaries from around the world.
However, the clouds lifted shortly after the ceremonies, and the spinning blades of the turbine were visible from many regions of the Lower Mainland. The most spectacular aspect of the turbine is the “viewPOD”, a 360 degree glass-walled viewing area near the top, which holds up to 36 people. The views on a clear day are spectacular.
It is quite surreal to be in the pod, with the blades spinning past. The only real noise is from the three 37 meter-long blades displacing the air. There are no gears and the pod is fixed to the blade assembly and rotates gently depending on the direction of the wind.
The turbine’s main purpose, along with being a tourist attraction, is to generate power, and at peak production it is designed to provide approximately 25 per cent of the power needed by the resort. It’s expected annual output of 2,000 megawatts would be enough to provide power for 40 homes per year. The turbine is the latest part of Grouse Mountain’s “Blue Grouse” sustainability program.
Placing the 65 metre tall tower and turbine at the top of the mountain was in itself a monumental feat, using massive helicopters and trucks to transport the tower, elevator and blades.