Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) has completed its 184.6 MW Meikle Wind project in British Columbia. Increasing the province’s installed wind capacity by more than one-third, the wind project is British Columbia’s largest, according to the developer.
The wind farm, situated approximately 33 kilometers north of Tumbler Ridge, has a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro.
Comprising 61 GE wind turbines, the project has the capacity to generate clean energy for up to 54,000 homes in the province, says Pattern.
Meikle Wind used more than 500,000 person-hours of labor during construction; going forward, it will be managed by 16 operations and maintenance personnel and will employ a variety of local subcontractors. In addition, over the first 25 years of operations, it will generate an estimated C$70 million in payments for property taxes, crown lease payments, wind participation rent and community benefits.
“Meikle Wind is now the largest wind facility in British Columbia, increasing the installed wind power capacity in the province by 37 percent,” comments 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.”
Pattern says it incorporated input from First Nations, the Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd communities, and the provincial government. In addition, the project’s layout, developed in collaboration with GE, incorporates two different turbine models consisting of varying rotor sizes and hub heights.
According to the developer, this design was developed to capture the most energy from the ridgelines by accounting for varying wind speeds, wind shear, turbulence and inflow angles. Notably, 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, says Pattern.
Citing the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Pattern says the facility has expanded British Columbia’s total installed wind capacity to 673.6 MW.