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Meridian riding high on energy saddle


Meridian riding high on energy saddle

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has welcomed Meridian Energy's proposal for the Te Apiti wind farm on the north side of the Manawatu Gorge, beside Saddle Road, as terrific news.

Heather Staley Chief Executive of EECA says the resource consent process has to be completed first but, if successful, today's announcement bodes well for the future of renewable energy in New Zealand.

"With a capacity of between 82 and 96 megawatts (MW) (1.2 petajoules), Te Apiti will be New Zealand's biggest wind farm - around three times the capacity of Trustpower's Tararua wind farm at 32 MW (0.5 petajoules).

"While today's announcement doesn't solve our current supply situation, if successful it will provide part of the answer to our long term supply needs. The success of Meridian's proposal will depend on the impact of the proposed wind farm on the community and the environment.

"With a national target of an additional 30 petajoules of renewable energy supply by 2012, I expect to see more projects of this nature come on stream in the next five to eight years. This is the way of the future for New Zealand," Ms Staley said.

Ms Staley says the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy will play an important part in New Zealand's energy future. An additional 30PJ of renewable energy plus a 20% improvement in energy efficiency will combine to meet the increase in energy needs in 2012.

Ms Staley says EECA is working to improve energy choices. For information on EECA or the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy visit www.eeca.govt.nz.


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