Kitimat and Terrace Assess Potential to Attract Wind Turbine Manufacturers to Northwest BC

City of Terrace

2012- There are numerous locations along British Columbia's North Coast and on Haida Gwaii that offer significant potential for wind power generation. Many wind farm sites have been identified in northwest BC including but not limited to; Prince Rupert, on Banks Island in the Hecate Strait, and on the north end of Graham Island on Haida Gwaii. In order to ensure that northwest BC's local economies maximize the local economic benefits these projects potentially offer, K.T. Industrial Development Society undertook an industry attraction assessment in partnership with the City of Terrace for local wind turbine assembly and component manufacturing in 2008.

The project included a marketing plan that identifies the key initiatives, budgets, and timelines associated with marketing the Kitimat-Terrace region to wind turbine manufacturers that are suppliers to wind projects in northwest BC and other regions within the province. The K.T. Industrial Development Society and its partners are hopeful that the strategic business advantages offered by Kitimat and Terrace will result in wind turbine component manufacturing and assembly in the region. This project resulted in a report that outlines those competitive advantages including local wind developments, manufacturing sites, workforce, transportation infrastructure, and training institutions.

"The importance of diversifying and increasing the economic mix in any given community cannot be overstated. It is our belief that every effort must be made by municipal leaders, economic development organizations and industry to find the best fit for their communities and their regions. It is simply a way to insulate a community from downturns in their industry sectors and provides the breathing room for the development of new ideas and the establishment of additional economic stimulants."

Ron Burnett, former President, Kitimat-Terrace Industrial Development Society

Positive Economic Impacts in Terrace

The work conducted under this project is an important first step for local economic developers to understand the potential benefits that prospective wind farm developments offer northwest BC. The results of this project will continue to be used to promote the Skeena Valley as a region with competitive advantages for wind turbine manufacturing companies. Ensuring that economic developers and their communities are prepared to encourage investment from wind turbine manufacturing companies is an important step towards diversifying the economy in the Skeena Valley.

As the Kitimat-Terrace region is home to some of the largest prospective wind projects in Canada, any manufacturing site that is established in the Skeena Valley would be close to an established market for wind turbines and components. In fact, locating either manufacturing or assembly of many wind tower components in northwest BC may be critical for suppliers to adequately serve this market.

The Ports in Prince Rupert and Kitimat could also provide manufacturers with efficient international shipping capabilities to serve global markets. In the event that a wind turbine manufacturing company becomes interested in locating an assembly or manufacturing facility within the region, this marketing document will provide an excellent guide that will help the company make an informed decision to set up its new operations.

A manufacturing facility for wind turbines would bring a new level of diversified industrial development to the region, creating new jobs helping to establish a more stable and sustainable economy.