TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. - Pattern Development has announced the completion of its 184.6-megawatt Meikle Wind power project located in British Columbia, approximately 33 kilometres 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 per cent," said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development, in a statement. "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."
Garland thanked the participating First Nations, the communities of Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, BC Hydro, as well as general contractor Borea Construction and turbine supplier GE, for their collaboration on the project.
The Meikle Wind facility is utilizing 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 utilized more than 500,000 person-hours of labour during construction, with in excess of 30 per cent of the value of contracts awarded to First Nations-affiliated contractors and other regional firms. Going forward, the facility will be managed by 16 operations and maintenance personnel and will also utilize a variety of local subcontractors, explains a release.
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 significantly impacted by pine beetle kill and previous forestry activity, reducing the overall environmental impact of the project, the release adds.
Project officials stated that Meikle Wind is generating 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 facility expanded British Columbia's total installed wind capacity to 673.6 MW, according to the Canadian Wind Energy Association.