TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – Pattern Energy Group Inc. has held the grand opening of a 179-megawatt Meikle Wind power project 33 kilometers north of Tumbler Ridge.
Mayor of Tumbler Ridge Don McPherson said, “This project has been critical to the community for the past three years when other industries were leaving Tumbler Ridge.”
Councillor Dean Dokkie of the West Moberly First Nations said, “I praise the working relationship with Pattern and the company’s willingness to find mutually beneficial siting compromises that honored First Nations’ needs and perspectives.”
School District Spokesman Brad Booker said, “Energy for Generations, by investing in the future generations through long-term commitments of support to the school, which are part of Meikle Wind’s community benefits program.”
Executive Vice President of Pattern Energy, Hunter Armstead said, “Located in this beautiful mountainous region of BC, Meikle Wind was a unique project to build for its design and weather challenges, as well as for our discovery of rare dinosaur tracks during construction, which were donated to the Tumbler Ridge Museum. This project was a successful collaboration with the participating First Nations, the communities of Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, and BC Hydro.”
More than 500,000 person-hours of labour during construction went into building Meikle Wind, with over 30 percent of value of the contracts awarded to First Nations-affiliated contractors and other regional firms. Sixteen operations and maintenance personal manage the faculty, which will use a number of local subcontractors.
The power plant is generating strong benefits for B.C. 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 179-megawatt Meikle Wind facility consists of 61 wind turbines. The project’s innovative layout, which consists of two different turbine models of different rotor sizes and hub heights. The design was developed to capture the most energy from the ridge-lines, accounting for varying wind speeds, wind shear, turbulence and inflow angles. Its location is within area that was significantly impacted by pine beetle kill and previous forestry activity, reducing the overall environment impact of the project.
Meikle Wind commenced commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017 and operates under a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro, which has a AAA/Aaa credit rating.