The B.C. government is investigating an application to consider the feasibility of developing a solar power production farm in the Chasm area.
The application, which was brought before the Thompson Nicola Regional District last month as an information item, is for a five-year Investigative Licence relating to 4,777 hectares of Crown land in Electoral Area E “to examine solar resources and the possibility of developing a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) clean energy project,” according to a TNRD staff report.
The application area is on unsurveyed Crown land five kilometres south of 70 Mile House and 17km northeast of Clinton, along Highway 97 and Chasm Road, according to the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. At this stage, this application is for investigative purposes only.
“This application is for an investigative licence, which would be valid for five years. During this five years, the proponent aims to investigate the feasibility of the area to be used for solar power by installing a single climate monitoring station within the application area,” the ministry said in an email to the Free Press.
The ministry noted the proposal is one of nine applications for solar investigative licences received by the province. All are currently being adjudicated.
TNRD Area E director Sally Watson, who represents the Bonaparte Plateau, said she is excited about the potential of having a solar farm in her area. Other applications have also been brought forward for Meadow Lake Road, she added.
Deanna Campbell, the TNRD’s general manager of corporate and legislative services, said the regional district has received several applications for investigative licences in the past for turbines and run of the river projects have not had a major solar project come to fruition.