The last wind turbine at Waipipi Wind Farm came out of test mode on March 4 and all 31 are now generating electricity, Tilt Renewables project developer Stewart Reid says.
It's a milestone for the project, which began construction in October 2019 on a 980ha coastal site between Waverley and Pātea. There's been no celebration yet, but an open day for the public is planned, probably in April at a site at the end of Dryden Rd.
There will be a shelter there, some boards with historic and cultural information, and local iwi Ngā Rauru Kiitahi is to provide a carved pou.
Now that construction is finished, equipment is being moved off the site, Reid said.
The land has been farmed right through the construction period, with temporary fences keeping stock from areas of operation. All but 2 per cent of the land will now go back to pasture or crops.
Tilt Renewables is compensating for the wind farm's disruption to birds by planting 100 native trees, putting up shag roosts and doing pest control at nearby Tapuarau Lagoon.
The construction road that left State Highway 3 west of Waverley will be closed to the public, but is still usable by the landowners and if any large equipment is needed at the wind farm.
For the past six months 156 full-time equivalent staff have been working on the project, and living at Waverley Beach and Whanganui.
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When building is finally finished the wind farm will have just four full-time Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy staff with a shed on site. They will operate and maintain its turbines.
There weren't too many problems during construction, Reid said. All the equipment arrived on schedule, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was a dry winter on the South Taranaki coast and the water table dropped, which made making foundations for the turbines easier.
Each of those needed 430cu m of concrete and 65 tonnes of steel.
Wind speed at the level of the turbine hubs averages 31km/h, and the turbine blades spin at 12 revolutions per minute - the tips of the blades moving much faster than the hubs.
They generate enough electricity to power 65,000 houses. It then travels 11km to the Transpower Waverley Substation on a transmission line with 91 mono poles.