British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett on June 30 issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate to Meikle Wind Energy LP for the up to 187-MW Meikle Wind Energy Project.
This project is located approximately 30 kilometers northwest of Tumbler Ridge. The decision was made after considering a review led by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office. The ministers have issued the certificate with legally enforceable conditions that ensure the project will be constructed, operated and decommissioned in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.
The Environmental Assessment Certificate includes 24 conditions. Each of the conditions and the Certified Project Description are legally binding requirements that Meikle Wind Energy must meet to be in compliance with the certificate. The certificate conditions were developed following consultation and input from First Nations, government agencies, communities and the public. Key conditions for the project include that Meikle Wind Energy must:
- Implement a bird and bat monitoring and adaptive management plan.
- Retain the services of an independent environmental monitor during the construction and decommissioning phases of the project.
- Reduce the project footprint to minimize habitat disturbance and visual effects.
The approved project includes up to 68 wind turbines and an interconnection line to transfer power from the project substation to the BC Hydro grid located along the eastern boundary of the project site, adjacent to Highway 29, and an access trail to be used for construction and operation of the interconnection line.
In an April 16 filing with the Environmental Assessment Office, the company said: “Pattern Renewable Holdings Canada ULC (‘Pattern’) is pleased to inform the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) that it has completed acquisition of Meikle Wind Energy Limited Partnership (‘Meikle LP’) from Finavera Wind Energy Inc. (‘Finavera’).Through this acquisition, Pattern has purchased (i) all of Finavera’s interest as sole limited partner in Meikle LP, and (ii) all of Finavera’s shares in the general partner of Meikle LP, Meikle Wind Energy Corp.”
On March 17, Finavera Wind Energy, Pattern Renewable Holdings Canada, which is a subsidiary of Pattern Energy Group LP, and BC Hydro executed agreements that provide for the assignment of the 184-MW Meikle Wind Energy Project Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) from Finavera to Pattern. Concurrent with the assignment of the Meikle EPA to Pattern, and as required by BC Hydro, 116 MW of EPAs have been cancelled. Finavera said on March 17 that it retained the licenses and permits for those projects and continues to collect data from the sites.