One of the goals with the building of Kimberley’s SunMine was to change people’s image of Kimberley — to not think of it as a community struggling to find itself after the closure of the Sullivan Mine, but as a progressive, forward looking community.
So far, the SunMine is surpassing expectations in that area.
Last week, Mayor Don McCormick was in Vancouver to attend the Lower Mainland Local Government Association meetings. He had been invited there specifically to present on the SunMine.
“There is lots of interest in SunMine from all over the province,” McCormick said. “It was fascinating, lots of conversation, lots of questions.”
The interest will continue, McCormick says, because there is a lot of industry out there looking to feed off of clean energy, and not just Hydro, which is plentiful in B.C.
“My dream for the SunMine is to attract an industry and literally plug it in.”
To do that, the SunMine must expand. And finding an industry looking for clean power would help that goal.
“If the goal is to sell power back to the grid, then BC Hydro is in the driver’s seat,’ McCormick said. “And it’s not an easy process.
“One of the things that makes solar so expensive is distribution. That grid was already in place in Kimberley. We used Teck’s existing infrastructure. If we are looking at expanding, we need an appropriate partner with experience.”
It all ties together, McCormick says. Industrial lands would be needed to attract an industry, so forward movement on environmental certificates is necessary. Attracting an industry is easier with the new Cranbrook Kimberley Development Initiative.
“To meet our objectives, we require progress on all these areas.”