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British Columbia Company Proposes Cross-Strait Power Line to North Olympic Peninsula

by Brian Gawley
Peninsula Daily News, July 20, 2004

Electricity from Vancouver Island, transmitted underwater across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the North Olympic Peninsula, would be enough to light 10 cities the size of Port Angeles.

Some of the juice would be generated from windmills.

Sound far-fetched?

A British Columbia company wants to do just that -- carry 330 megawatts of electricity under the Strait and into the Bonneville Power Administration's regional power grid, connecting at the Port Angeles substation.

Sea Breeze Power Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, has applied to the federal power marketing agency to tie into the regional grid, possibly in 2007.

The company hopes to lay two additional cables across the Strait, depending on demand, plus a fourth across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver on the British Columbia mainland.

The cables are estimated to cost $100 million each.

Chief Operating Officer Tony Duggleby said some of the energy would come from a 350-megawatt wind farm the company wants to build on the breezy northern tip of Vancouver Island.

But that would be only one of the energy sources, along with BC Hydro and Bonneville, he said.

Sea Breeze President Paul Manson said the company would use an electrical transmission technology called ``submarine high-voltage direct current,'' or HVDC, that is superior to the alternating current usually used.

``The direct current aspect is preferred for marine applications because there's no electromagnetic field, which disorients fish,'' Manson said.

``HVDC has very minimal impact. The line is buried nine feet under the ocean floor, so it doesn't interfere with other marine life and also enhances the security aspects.''

Brian Gawley
British Columbia Company Proposes Cross-Strait Power Line to North Olympic Peninsula
Peninsula Daily News, July 20, 2004

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