Construction on Grouse Mountain wind turbine set to begin - Metro US

Construction on Grouse Mountain wind turbine set to begin

Sharp-eyed Vancouver residents may spot a steel spire forming atop Grouse Mountain this week as construction begins on a massive one-of-a-kind wind turbine.

Construction on the 65-metre tower will begin Wednesday on the peak of the popular tourist destination.

In Vancouver yesterday, people on the street were generally supportive of the project, saying the turbine would be less of an eyesore and more a positive icon of alternate power.

“It’ll be shinning example for the whole city,” said James Gillis, outside the Vancouver Public Library yesterday.

“Everyone will be able to see it and begin thinking about alternative energy.”

Elena Pederson in Vancouver said she supports the idea as long as it is environmentally sound and doesn’t bother area residents.

The turbine, which was approved last October by the District of North Vancouver, has been dubbed the “Quiet Revolution” by the mountain. It will generate 1.5 megawatts, enough to cover 25 per cent of the mountain’s electricity usage, and double as a tourist attraction.

“This wind turbine will be the first in the world to have an elevator inside the tower that accesses a viewpod able to hold up to 37 people,” said William Mbaho, a spokesman for Grouse Mountain.

When it opens in early 2010 (ahead of the Winter Olympics), the turbine will offer panoramic views of the city and an up-close look at the spinning blades. The cost of admission will be announced closer to its opening.

“This is really a statement about the viability of wind energy,” Mbaho said.

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