The City is by no means ready to say the Sun Mine is a go, but an important step forward began this week with the start of the rezoning process for some of the Teck land where the Sun Mine will be located.
Sun Mine has been jointly developed by Kimberley; EcoSmart, a non-profit organization based in Vancouver; and Teck Resources Limited, the former operator of the Sullivan Mine and owner of the industrial site.
The project’s objective is to build a two-megawatt peak* (“MWp”) solar power plant and power system that demonstrate both the feasibility of solar power in BC and the benefits of reusing the former mine’s existing industrial infrastructure. w
The land, on the old Concentrator site, is currently zoned heavy industrial. The City’s manager of Planning Services, Troy Pollock, told Council that the zoning will change to allow a solar energy facility.
“There are still so many unknowns, on layout etc., that we kept it very general in terms of setbacks, structure height. We will rezone the entire lot to allow flexibility.”
The bylaw received first reading at this week’s Council meeting.
“By doing this we are not saying the Sun Mine is a go,” said Mayor Ron McRae. “We are simply following a specific process to bring the project to reality. We are doing the rezoning so we are ready when we feel everything is in place. The rezoning has to be in place for legal agreements with groups like BC Hydro, and for funders, so we can show due diligence. But don’t jump to the conclusion that we are pulling the trigger on this. There is still lots of work to be done. Things are coming together but it is too soon to say, ‘here we go’.”