Pattern Development finishes British Columbia wind power project
184.6 MW Meikle Wind now fully operational, increasing BC’s installed wind power capacity by more than one third
Pattern Energy Group LP announced the completion of its 184.6 MW Meikle Wind power project located in British Columbia, about 20 miles north of Tumbler Ridge.
“Meikle Wind is now the largest wind facility in British Columbia, increasing the installed wind power capacity in the province by 37 percent,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “Located in a mountainous region, this project was unique for its construction, design and weather challenges, as well as for our discovery of rare dinosaur tracks during construction, which we donated to the Tumbler Ridge Museum. Meikle Wind would like to thank the participating First Nations, the communities of Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, BC Hydro, as well as the general contractor Borea Construction and turbine supplier GE, for their collaboration on making this project a great success.”
The Meikle Wind facility is using 61 GE wind turbines and has the capacity to generate clean energy for up to 54,000 homes in the province. The facility has a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro. Meikle Wind used more than 500,000 person-hours of labor during construction, with in excess of 30 percent of the value of contracts awarded to First Nation-affiliated contractors and other regional firms. Going forward, the facility will be managed by 16 operations and maintenance personnel, and will also use a variety of local subcontractors.
The Meikle Wind facility was thoughtfully designed and planned, incorporating input from First Nations, the Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd communities, and the provincial government. The project’s layout, developed in collaboration with GE, incorporates two different turbine models consisting of varying rotor sizes and hub heights.
This design was developed to capture the most energy from the ridgelines, accounting for varying wind speeds, wind shear, turbulence and inflow angles. Meikle Wind is located within an area that was impacted by pine beetle kill and previous forestry activity, reducing the overall environmental impact of the project.
Meikle Wind is generating strong benefits for the province with an estimated $70 million in payments for property taxes, Crown lease payments, wind participation rent, and community benefits over the first 25 years of operations.
The 184.6 MW Meikle Wind facility expanded British Columbia’s total installed wind capacity to 673.6 MW, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).