"Wind power is an important part of building B.C.’s clean energy future," said Premier Gordon Campbell. "Congratulations to Grouse Mountain for leading the way in adopting this clean source of power and showing the world the potential for wind energy in British Columbia."
With no gears and minimal noise, a quiet revolution is underway at Grouse Mountain. As wind power rapidly revolutionizes the world of alternative energy, Grouse Mountain’s Quiet Revolution is a deliberate and sustained pursuit of balance and responsibility, both in ecological and economic terms.
"Our sustainability revolution began two decades ago and, since then, we have pursued alternative power sources to become more energy self-sufficient," says Stuart McLaughlin, CEO and President of Grouse Mountain Resorts. "The Eye of the Wind will inspire visitors who ascend Vancouver’s most celebrated peak each year to return home to begin a Quiet Revolution of their own."
The various elements of The Eye of the Wind were sourced from ten countries spanning four continents, with the structural assembly completed in fall of 2009. Lifting over 290 tons of components represented a monumental feat to erect the three tower sections, hub, generator, nacelle, viewPOD and three blades. Grouse Mountain and Italy’s Leitwind Technology partnered the project. Leitwind is part of the Leitner Technologies Group, a name that has been a synonym for high performance technology of ropeways and snow groomers since 1888.
"It was an outstanding team effort starting from design to manufacturing through installation that made this dream come true – a unique MW-class turbine on top of Grouse Mountain," said Anton Seeber, CEO of Leitwind. "My gratitude goes to all the extraordinary people around the world who believed in this project and worked on it."
The Eye of the Wind is the only one of its kind in the world equipped with an elevator accessing a panoramic viewPOD, providing an close-up view of wind energy at work. The structure also has the distinction of being the first commercial wind turbine in the Lower Mainland, and forever changes the face of alternative energy in British Columbia.
The revolutionary wind turbine is completely privately funded without any subsidy, and is capable of producing 1.5 megawatts of energy. The Eye of the Wind is expected to off-set up to 25 per cent of Grouse Mountain’s entire operational electricity needs annually.
The result is an engineering marvel that will change the way visitors think about sustainability. Vancouver now has a new icon. A beacon that will show the way into the future.
From sophisticated entertainment to unspoiled nature, Grouse Mountain is the pre-eminent all-in-one, four season destination with something for everyone. The wilderness paradise is located 15-minutes from downtown Vancouver, and the famous Grouse Mountain Skyride (North America’s largest aerial tram system) takes visitors on a one-mile aerial journey to the Alpine Station, 3,700 feet above sea level. Breathtaking panoramic views of the city, sea and surrounding mountains unfold, culminating with a summit altitude of 4,100 feet. Grouse Mountain was named by a visiting hiking party in 1894, after they encountered a blue grouse bird on the alpine slopes. Today, Grouse Mountain enjoys the status of Vancouver’s most visited attraction receiving over 1.2 million visitors each year.