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More wind power from today

Media Release from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)

19 December 2003

More wind power from today

From 1pm this afternoon a little bit more of New Zealand's electricity is coming from renewable energy with the connection of the first of 55 new wind turbines at TrustPower's Tararua Windfarm.

Heather Staley Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) says the speed with which the new generation has come on line after getting the green light in May is outstanding.

"Once the consent process has been completed, wind is one of the fastest forms of power generation to build. The speed with which this project has been able to pass the consent process and power from the first turbine come down the lines is testament to the support of the Palmerston North and Wairarapa communities.

"I hope other communities around NZ will recognise the potential of wind farms and support this important source of renewable electricity. Community support is vital to the establishment of windfarms.

"Generating electricity from renewable sources such as wind produces zero emissions and reduces the need for electricity from fossil fuels such as coal and gas. New Zealanders like to think they live in a clean green country but most don't realise that around 30 percent of our electricity comes from fossil fuels.

"TrustPower's Tararua Windfarm expansion not only helps with security of supply but also contributes to the renewable energy target of an additional 30 petajoules of energy from renewable sources by 2012," Ms Staley said.

The increase from 48 to 103 turbines means Tararua will have the capacity to supply more than 30,000 homes and will save up to 75,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The $60 million project is scheduled to be completed by May next year.

Ms Staley says the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is implementing the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy through improving energy choices. For information on EECA or renewable energy visit www.eeca.govt.nz

ENDS

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