Coastal site eyed for large wind farm

By Anne-Marie Emerson


A giant wind farm is being planned for a coastal site in South Taranaki.

TrustPower has announced its intention to build the 48-turbine wind farm on a 980ha site approximately 6km southeast of Patea and 7km southwest of Waverley, next to the Tasman Sea and the Whenuakura River.

Suzi Luff from TrustPower said the company would lodge its resource consent for the wind farm with the South Taranaki District Council and the Taranaki Regional Council in March next year.

Miss Luff said TrustPower intended to spend five months consulting with the local community about the wind farm project.

"We think it is important to share information about the proposed wind farm, while also providing forums and opportunities to discuss the project with the community," she said.

A community information meeting will be held at the Waverley community centre at 5.30pm on Wednesday, October 31.

There will be other meetings, an open day, an information stall at the Waverley A&P; show and an online forum set up on Facebook.

Miss Luff said consultation with local iwi Nga Rauru and Ngati Ruanui began in 2009, and discussions with the Department of Conservation and local councils began in 2010.

Neighbours of the wind farm project have been involved in discussions since early 2012.

The wind farm will consist of 48 turbines, each 160 metres high from the ground to the blade tip.

As a whole, the wind farm will have a generation capacity of 130MW.

By contrast, the Te Apiti wind farm in the Manawatu Gorge generates 90MW from its 55 105m-high turbines.

Miss Luff said the site was unique for any existing or proposed wind farms in New Zealand, in that it is extremely flat and has very few constraints.

She said between 80 and 100 people would be involved in the wind farm's construction. Eight to 10 people would be employed on an ongoing basis to be responsible for monitoring, operation and maintenance of the facility.

The wind farm will include 25 kilometres of internal roads, culverts across the Waipipi Stream, a concrete batching plant, plus two bores for water.

It's not the first time a wind farm has been planned for this area.

In April 2007, Australian company Allco Wind Energy announced its intention to build a wind farm in the area.

The company lodged a resource consent application with the South Taranaki District Council later that year.

However, after a number of delays the application was withdrawn in mid-2009, and the company was placed under the control of administrators.


 


Blowin' in the wind


48 turbines

Maximum 160m in height

Generating 130MW of power

980ha total area, between Waverley and Patea

25km of internal roads

Concrete batching plant

Two water bores

 

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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