Mighty River gets wind farm consent
State-owned New Zealand Mighty River Power has been given the go-ahead to build a 53 turbine wind farm on the Puketoi Range, but the development is not likely to eventuate in the immediate future.
The development includes provision for a transmission line linking the Puketoi line into the National Grid. It will have the capability to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes, but due to low electricity demand in the area, Mighty River Power have announced that the company is taking a long term approach to the resource consent.
New Zealand’s electricity demands are at 2008 levels, making newly consented projects unlikely to come to market in the short term according to MRP’s General Manager of Development, Mr Mark Trigg.
“Given the multi-year lead time to prepare opportunities and secure resource consents, we continue to take a long-term view, ensuring we are ready to commit to projects quickly as economic growth and, therefore, electricity demand recovers,” he said.
“Our immediate focus is on the completion of the Ngatamariki geothermal plant near Taupo, which we expect to be commissioned in mid 2013.”
Several other New Zealand wind developments have recently received resource consent, but are showing no immediate plans to begin building. Meridian Energy has not yet begun construction of the 75 turbines that were granted consent for the Maungaharuru Range in 2006. Genesis Energy said it has no immediate plans to build a $1.6 billion wind farm consented two weeks ago for Wairarapa’s Castle Hill.
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