The massive wind turbine atop Grouse Mountain on Vancouver's North Shore has finally been approved by BC Hydro, allowing it to push electricity into the ski resort's power system.
Construction of the 65-metre-tall turbine was completed last February, but its final hook-up was stalled for several months because of BC Hydro's concerns about the electrical output.
The ski resort brought in specialized equipment to complete the electricity generation connection and it was installed in late August, enabling the turbine to be connected to its power system on Wednesday.
The new parts monitor the turbine's electrical output for any anomalies and shuts it down in the event of an emergency, "while another prevents energy produced by the turbine from flowing onto the public system. There are also some extra components required, including a new transformer," said Grouse Mountain spokesman William Mbaho.
Bill Bennett, B.C.'s minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources, said the iconic project was Vancouver's first large-scale commercial wind turbine.
"We hope it will inspire companies and communities across the province to develop innovative, renewable energy projects in support of our provincial goal of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016," said Bennett.
The turbine, called the Eye of the Wind — which overlooks Vancouver from its perch on top of the North Shore Mountains — is also equipped with an internal elevator and an observation pod for tourists just below the giant turbine.
It has the capacity to generate 1.5 megawatts of power, roughly enough electricity to power about 400 homes, according to Mbaho.