TUMBLER RIDGE - Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett was joined by Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, members of the community, and representatives of Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development), Clean Energy BC, the Canadian Wind Energy Association and BC Hydro in Tumbler Ridge to launch construction of the $400-million Meikle Wind Energy Project.
Pattern Development’s Meikle Wind project is located 33 kilometres northwest of Tumbler Ridge, between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd and within the traditional territory of Treaty 8 First Nations.
The project will utilize 61 wind turbine generators to provide 185 megawatts of capacity and enough clean, renewable energy to the BC Hydro grid each year to power the equivalent of approximately 54,000 homes.
The Meikle Wind project was awarded a 25-year electricity purchase agreement in BC Hydro’s 2008 Clean Power Call. British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate in June 2014.
The involvement and support of First Nations throughout project development has been fundamental to the project’s success.
Construction has commenced with vegetation clearing underway and major activities are expected to begin in June of this year. Project construction will last for 24 months, with commercial operation anticipated by the end of 2016. The project is estimated to generate an average of 175 jobs through construction and nine full-time jobs once in operation.
Meikle Wind Energy LP (Meikle Wind) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pattern Energy Group LP.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines -
“The Meikle Wind Energy Project will contribute to British Columbia’s diversified, clean and renewable energy supply. Independent power projects continue to play an important role in powering our province. Our decision to proceed with Site C provides a firm energy source that will support the integration of more wind energy projects in the future.”
Mike Bernier, MLA, Peace River South -
“At a time when the declining price of coal has hurt the mining industry in the Peace River region the energy sector is providing employment and economic opportunities. The Meikle Wind Energy Project and the Site C Clean Energy Project will bring badly needed jobs for local workers and revenues for local businesses.”
Jessica McDonald, president and CEO of BC Hydro -
“I’m pleased to see wind energy projects being added to BC Hydro’s clean energy portfolio. We currently have four wind projects providing power to the provincial grid with several under consideration though our Standing Offer Program - a streamlined program offering opportunities for small power projects. When Meikle comes online, it will provide the highest capacity of all of our wind resources.”
Michael Garland, CEO, Pattern Development -
“As we begin construction activities on the largest wind energy project in British Columbia, we are especially appreciative for the local support and partnerships with the Government, BC Hydro and First Nations that have made the Meikle Wind project a reality. We are excited to create clean, renewable energy and economic development for the province. Over the first 25 years of operations, Meikle Wind is estimated to contribute over $70 million in payments for property taxes, the Crown lease, Wind Participation Rent, and community benefits.”
Paul Kariya, executive director, Clean Energy Association of B.C. -
“Today is an exciting day for the clean energy sector in British Columbia. By employing 175 workers on-site throughout the project’s construction and producing the power equivalent of 54,000 homes, the Meikle Wind Project is an example of the clean energy sector enabling economic development in the province through cost effective, clean power. Our members are eager to continue working with government and BC Hydro to meet B.C.’s future energy demands as other resource sectors continue to grow and thrive.”
Robert Hornung, president, Canadian Wind Energy Association -
“Wind energy has brought important economic benefits to several communities across British Columbia and we are pleased to see construction begin on the new Meikle Wind Energy Project. As British Columbia’s electricity demand grows, wind energy represents the bulk of British Columbia’s lowest-cost, emission-free, renewable energy generation opportunities. With a world-class wind resource, declining costs and broad support across the province, we are keen to work with all stakeholders to ensure that new wind energy projects can supply clean energy for British Columbia both today and in the future while providing new economic development opportunities for local communities and First Nations.”
- In addition to 61 wind turbine generators, the Meikle Wind project includes a single, two-way traffic access road from Highway 29 to the project site and connecting roads to access the turbines, a substation to convert power as required for transmission by BC Hydro, a four-kilometre transmission line to transfer power from the substation to the BC Hydro grid, a permanent operations building and two permanent meteorological towers.
- When complete the project will affect a surface area of less than 134 hectares over an area significantly impacted by pine beetle kill and recent forestry activity.
- B.C. currently has four operating wind projects:
- the 144-megawatt Dokie Wind Energy project near Chetwynd.
- the 102-megawatt Bear Mountain Wind project near Dawson Creek.
- the 142-megawatt Quality Wind project near Tumbler Ridge.
- the 99-megawatt Cape Scott Wind Farm on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
- Meikle Wind will increase the installed wind power capacity in the province by 38%.
Meikle Wind: http://www.meiklewind.com/
Meikle Wind Energy Project environmental assessment approval:
Ministry of Energy and Mines