Meikle Wind Energy Project
Pattern Energy Group LP
Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia
2012 – Ongoing
Pattern Energy acquired wind energy assets in the Peace Region of British Columbia (BC) including two Electricity Purchase Agreements (EPAs) with BC Hydro for 300-megawatts (MW) of wind power development. The Meikle Wind Energy Project included development of a 180 MW wind farm near Tumbler Ridge, BC with 61 turbines that generate enough energy to meet the needs of 54,000 homes. The total surface area affected by the project was less than 134 hectares.
Hatfield provided environmental and First Nations liaison support for the Meikle Wind Energy Project across several key phases under separate contracts described below:
Environmental Assessment Application Phase
Hatfield provided environmental support to Pattern for three potential projects under EPAs with BC Hydro and ultimately guided the Meikle Wind Energy Project through the environmental assessment process with the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). Critical activities included undertaking baseline studies, participation and documentation of First Nation consultation activities, and the preparation and submission of a full Environmental Assessment (EA) application that addressed concerns related to identified environmental and social Valued Components for the Project. Hatfield successfully led the EA review process, on behalf of Pattern, through receipt of the EA Certificate. The assessment process required meaningful interaction with government agencies at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels and with impacted First Nation communities.
Construction (including pre-construction) Phase
As the Environmental Manager for this phase, Hatfield was responsible for all aspects of construction environmental management, including the acquisition of permits and licenses, and communications with stakeholders. Other key activities during this phase included the preparation of a detailed Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), implementation of all required pre-construction bio-physical surveys, coordination of First Nations participation in project monitoring, and liaising with key First Nation communities. Hatfield also provided the Independent Environmental Monitor for the Project to ensure ongoing compliance with the CEMP during construction activities.
Operations Phase (ongoing)
Hatfield continues to support the Meikle Wind Energy Project. Key activities include the preparation of a detailed Operations Environmental Management Plan (OEMP), periodic monitoring of operations activities to ensure compliance with EA Certificate conditions, initial environmental awareness training for new staff and contractors, communication and engagement between stakeholders and agencies, and ongoing consultation with local First Nations communities through a dedicated First Nations liaison for the Project.
Specialized Wildlife Services
Hatfield’s team of wildlife specialists provided a wide range of support throughout all phases of the Meikle Wind Energy Project, including the EA Certificate application, pre-construction, construction, and operations phases. Our primary responsibilities included:
- Baseline surveys (including aerial reconnaissance) for stick nests, notable habitat features, large mammals, animal snow-tracking, owl call playbacks, songbird point counts, migrating raptor stand-watches, snake hibernacula, amphibian breeding pond searches and bat acoustic monitoring;
- Assessment of project effects on a wide range of wildlife during construction, operations, and decommissioning;
- Pre-construction wetland delineation and surveys for breeding amphibians, denning fisher and bears, and nesting northern goshawks;
- Preparation and ongoing refinement of the Wildlife Protection Plan (WPP) and associated CEMP;
- Stewardship presentations to Project staff and contractors to support and encourage better protection and management of habitats and animals, including species at risk and nuisance wildlife during construction;
- Oversight and management of western toad salvages, pre-clearing migratory bird nesting activity surveys, ungulate mineral lick operation, and other wildlife issues arising during the construction phase;
- Preparation of the Bird and Bat Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plan (MAMP) for the initial operation phase; and
- Participation on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to review post-construction fatality monitoring results and discuss future monitoring and mitigation needs.
Specialized Geomatics Services
Hatfield’s team of geomatics specialists provided a wide range of support throughout all phases of the Meikle Wind Energy Project, including an EA map series and figures, and facilitation of infrastructure updates through constraints mapping including GIS and Autodesk AutoCAD tools. Hatfield acquired up-to-date high resolution ortho-satellite images to support Environmental Assessment components, including cumulative environmental assessment. Geomatics specialists supported the CEMP and its implementation, and independent environmental monitoring with ongoing mapping support.