Three wind farms planned for Waikato

Three wind farms, including one of the biggest in the country, are being planned for Waikato.

Maori incorporation Taharoa C, which has net assets of $50 million from a range of business ventures, wants to build a 42-turbine, 100MW wind farm at Taharoa, on the southern edge of Kawhia Harbour, at an estimated cost of $84 million.

The Waikato Times reported today that the other two plans have been proposed by Ventus Energy, which wants to build a 25-turbine wind farm in Te Anga, 48km northwest of Te Kuiti, and a 32-turbine wind farm at Awakino, 98km northeast of New Plymouth.

The company, which takes its name from the Latin for wind, was set up in Ireland and has a branch in New Zealand.

The wind farm planned by Taharoa C would go on its sand-mining site near Kawhia Harbour. Turbines would be about 80m high, the newspaper said.

Its 100MW capacity would be larger than the 90MW Te Apiti wind farm owned by Meridian Energy on the north side of the Manawatu Gorge, near Palmerston North.

At full capacity, the planned Makara wind farm near Wellington will generate 210MW, enough to power 110,000 homes.

The organisation has lodged a resource consent application with Waitomo District Council after two years of investigations by five staff and 15 consultants.

Ventus' project in Te Anga was being reworked and a resource consent application will be resubmitted to the council to include larger 110m turbines and two adjacent properties.

Ventus Energy spokesman Glenn Starr said the Awakino proposal had been put on hold due to grid difficulties and a lack of clarity over whether there was sufficient wind.

- NZPA

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