Combining a strong business partnership, First Nations values, and a commitment to sustainable power generation, Weather Dancer 1 was opened yesterday at a ceremony on the land of the Peigan First Nation.
Standing 72 meters high with a generation capacity of 900 kilowatts, Weather Dancer 1 is a joint business venture between the Peigan Indian Utility Corporation and EPCOR Power Development Corporation.
“Weather Dancer 1 ties the traditional elements of our culture with the goal of developing new opportunities for the Peigan people,” said Peter Strikes with a Gun, Chief of the Peigan First Nation. “Our success with Weather Dancer 1 is allowing us to look ahead to a larger wind-power project, and a future where it may be possible for us to meet the energy needs of our own community. This will also bring new opportunities for the coming generations of the Peigan people.”
Weather Dancer 1 will generate approximately 2,960 megawatt hours of electricity each year, which could meet the electrical needs of approximately 450 homes. This low environmental impact generation project will offset CO(2) equivalent emissions equal to removing approximately 17,500 cars from the road per year.
The project will be EcoLogo Certified once operation commences and an inspection is complete. For the first ten years, 80 per cent of Weather Dancer’s output will be offered to customers through EPCOR’s Green Power Program.
“Weather Dancer 1 is part of EPCOR’s commitment to developing more low environmental impact generation in Alberta,” said EPCOR CEO Don Lowry. “We believe there’s a very bright outlook for wind power in Alberta. With our experience with Weather Dancer 1 and our business relationship with the Peigan Indian Utility Corporation, EPCOR is well placed to explore a significantly larger wind-generating project.”
The name Weather Dancer refers to a ceremony performed on the last day of the Sundance (Okaan), which renews the relationship with the natural world.
“As a result of our successful partnership with EPCOR in developing Weather Dancer 1, the Peigan Indian Utility Corporation – which is owned and operated by the Peigan people – is in a very good position to pursue new business opportunities connected to wind power,” said William Big Bull, Wind Power Project Coordinator with the Peigan Indian Utility Corporation.
Located near Brocket, Alberta, Weather Dancer 1 will provide power to customers through EPCOR’s Green Power Program once it is EcoLogo Certified.
“With Weather Dancer 1 in operation and EcoLogo Certified, EPCOR will be able to provide our Green Power customers sustainable power generated from the wind, sun, water, and trees,” said Lowry. With over 3,000 Green Power customers, EPCOR is Alberta’s largest residential retailer of Green Power.
This morning’s ceremony will be held at the Weather Dancer 1 site, and will be attended by members of the Peigan First Nation and the Peigan Indian Utility Corporation, EPCOR, Senator Joyce Fairbairn, Honorable Pearl Calahasen, and members of the media.
EPCOR is an Alberta-based company, headquartered in Edmonton, with over $3 billion in assets and a customer base of over 600,000. With locations in Alberta, British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, EPCOR owns and operates power plants, electrical transmission and distribution networks, builds and operates water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure, and provides power, water and natural gas to its expanding customer base. More information about EPCOR can be found on our Website at www.epcor.ca