Pattern Energy Group announced its Meikle Wind-power facility received the Project Excellence Award from Clean Energy BC. The 179-MW Meikle Wind facility is located near Tumbler Ridge in British Columbia, Canada.
“Pattern Energy’s Meikle Wind facility is an outstanding example of how to bring together zero-carbon energy generation, local economic development, and sustainable business,” said Jae Mather, Executive Director of Clean Energy BC. “We are honored to have this project in BC and we look forward to many more.”
The 179-MW Meikle Wind facility consists of 61 GE wind turbines, including 35 3.2-MW turbines and 26 2.75-MW turbines. The facility’s innovative 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.
During construction, Meikle Wind utilized more than 500,000 person-hours of labor with in excess of 30% of the value of contracts awarded to First Nation-affiliated contractors and other regional firms. The facility is managed by 16 operations and maintenance personnel and utilizes a variety of local subcontractors.
“Meikle Wind was one of our most challenging projects to build due to its location deep in a beautiful mountainous region of BC that often experiences extreme weather conditions,” explains Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “It was also a unique project because during construction we discovered rare fossilized dinosaur tracks, which we donated to the Tumbler Ridge Museum.”
Now BC’s largest wind power facility, Meikle Wind is generating economic benefits for First Nations and the community and clean power for 54,000 homes in the province, every year for the next quarter century. Garland added: “We’d like to thank the community for their support and the First Nations construction workers that helped build this 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 facility commenced commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017 and operates under a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro.