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South Island's First Wind Power Flows

South Island's First Wind Power Flows

With the press of a switch, the Minister of Energy, Pete Hodgson, today sent electricity from the South Island's first wind generator into the national grid.

Earlier he donned white overalls and an appropriate red safety helmet before climbing 30 m inside the Windflow 500 tower to wave from a window in the nacelle to watching crowds. As he did so the turbine was buffeted by a cool north-east wind on its hill site off Gebbies Pass Road, south of Teddington, on Banks Peninsula.

Mr Hodgson was accompanied on the climb by Geoff Henderson, the Executive Director of Windflow Technology Ltd, who has promoted wind power for Canterbury for the past 10 years. The wind turbine has been made in New Zealand and uses several new technologies, such as the torque-limiting gearbox and the pitch-regulated two-bladed teetering rotor.

The wind turbine has a maximum output of 500 kW and an average of 200 kW, enough to serve 200 Christchurch houses. The Christchurch City Council has contracted to take all the power generated. The council's energy manager, Dr Leonid Itskovich, said the wind turbine could supply more than 3 per cent of the council's own power needs.

Mr Hodgson said that the commissioning of the wind turbine was "a point in history for wind generation." He said the turbine had come about because of the tenacity of Mr Henderson who had a "raging enthusiasm" for wind generation.

Mr Hodgson also praised Orion Ltd, the City Council, and the leadership of the company's late chairman, Dr Neil Cherry. There had been amazing support in the Canterbury region for the project and Mr Hodgson added that it seemed likely more turbines would follow.

The problem of distributed generation throughout the country had to be tackled and this would be done by regulation as he could not get agreement, he said.

"The future for New Zealand power generation will nearly all be renewably generated and a fair chunk of it will be wind. Hundreds of megawatts will be generated by wind over the next decades," Mr Hodgson said.

The chairman of Windflow Technology Ltd, Barrie Leay, said the second stage of the company's development would be to make money out of wind turbines. The company would increase production and "get its marketing right."

He said five projects were being developed in Canterbury at present and two were in the pipeline. He hoped the province would become the centre of excellence in the wind power industry.

Co-leader of the Green Party, Rod Donald, said he looked forward to the engineering expertise used in the Canterbury turbine being exported. He said the harnessing of the wind in the province was a tribute to Dr Cherry.


With the press of a switch, the Minister of Energy, Pete Hodgson, today sent electricity from the South Island's first wind generator into the national grid.

Earlier he donned white overalls and an appropriate red safety helmet before climbing 30 m inside the Windflow 500 tower to wave from a window in the nacelle to watching crowds. As he did so the turbine was buffeted by a cool north-east wind on its hill site off Gebbies Pass Road, south of Teddington, on Banks Peninsula.

Mr Hodgson was accompanied on the climb by Geoff Henderson, the Executive Director of Windflow Technology Ltd, who has promoted wind power for Canterbury for the past 10 years. The wind turbine has been made in New Zealand and uses several new technologies, such as the torque-limiting gearbox and the pitch-regulated two-bladed teetering rotor.

The wind turbine has a maximum output of 500 kW and an average of 200 kW, enough to serve 200 Christchurch houses. The Christchurch City Council has contracted to take all the power generated. The council's energy manager, Dr Leonid Itskovich, said the wind turbine could supply more than 3 per cent of the council's own power needs.

Mr Hodgson said that the commissioning of the wind turbine was "a point in history for wind generation." He said the turbine had come about because of the tenacity of Mr Henderson who had a "raging enthusiasm" for wind generation.

Mr Hodgson also praised Orion Ltd, the City Council, and the leadership of the company's late chairman, Dr Neil Cherry. There had been amazing support in the Canterbury region for the project and Mr Hodgson added that it seemed likely more turbines would follow.

The problem of distributed generation throughout the country had to be tackled and this would be done by regulation as he could not get agreement, he said.

"The future for New Zealand power generation will nearly all be renewably generated and a fair chunk of it will be wind. Hundreds of megawatts will be generated by wind over the next decades," Mr Hodgson said.

The chairman of Windflow Technology Ltd, Barrie Leay, said the second stage of the company's development would be to make money out of wind turbines. The company would increase production and "get its marketing right."

He said five projects were being developed in Canterbury at present and two were in the pipeline. He hoped the province would become the centre of excellence in the wind power industry.

Co-leader of the Green Party, Rod Donald, said he looked forward to the engineering expertise used in the Canterbury turbine being exported. He said the harnessing of the wind in the province was a tribute to Dr Cherry.


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