A sixty-five meter tall wind turbine was built atop Grouse Mountain in February of 2009. Family, friends, and myself included have been Grouse Mountain ski and snowboard pass holders for longer than I can remember. North Vancouver residents take pride in the pristine view of Grouse Mountain`s skyline; therefore, it should be no surprise that a 65 meter tall wind turbine that protrudes into its center was a subject of hot debate.
For several weeks following its erection, it seemed like the turbine fell victim to criticism each time it came into sight. Even those individuals who defended its integrity had a hard time arguing that it was aesthetically pleasing. Many people whom identified themselves with Grouse, their home mountain, were pained to see it undergo such an ugly makeover. The general consensus among my peers was that the wind turbine is progressive and beneficial, but should have been constructed in a less intrusive location.
According to The Province: “A passionate debate on the pros and cons of the big windmill ended with the North Vancouver District Council voting 4-3 to issue a permit to Grouse Mountain Resorts to build the turbine.“ Thus, it appears that the District Council had some conflict but ultimately ruled in favor of green energy. The wind turbine generates approximately 25% of Grouse Mountain`s energy needs. It also acts as a unique tourist attraction, offering a 360 degree view of the city and mountains. In addition, the wind turbine was installed just prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Perhaps the District Council thought it would be a good way to show the world that Vancouver is undertaking sustainable initiatives.
When the wind turbine was first introduced, I thought on a cloudy day it made Grouse Mountain look like Haunted Hill. Now, when I look up at Grouse I don`t even notice it. In fact, now that I am becoming involved with sustainability, I am proud that Grouse Mountain is setting such a good example for the rest of the province. Hopefully, other businesses and communities across the province will be inspired to take steps of their own in support of B.C.’s goal of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016.