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TrustPower - Project Aqua Opinion

TrustPower - Project Aqua Opinion

TrustPower says it is disappointed that Meridian Energy has chosen to abandon its proposed Project Aqua power scheme, but it can understand its reasons for doing so.

Chief Executive Keith Tempest says that a lack of balance and direction in the debate over how New Zealand's resources can best be used has created an environment where it has become difficult for investors to consider large scale new generation in New Zealand.

"TrustPower has taken the view that the key to sustainability and progress lies in developing small to medium power generation, close to where the power is used, and a stronger focus in conservation terms on ensuring we are using electricity efficiently."

Mr Tempest says there needs to be a balance between investing in those smaller projects, the upgrading of transmission lines, and bigger projects that have larger environmental and conservation related footprints."

"We are strong believers in protecting the environment, and we do believe in conservation. In fact, all of our company's generation is sustainable, from either small to medium size hydro or wind. But at some point we have to stop and ask ourselves what the real long term cost of some conservation and environment driven decisions will be."

Mr Tempest says New Zealand is facing a serious situation, where the annual growth in demand for electricity is outstripping the rate at which new generation is being built.

"We need as a country to urgently take a fresh look at the way we do things, and develop a strategy that gives all of us, from granny in a pensioner cottage at the end of the street to tourists who want to come to a country where there are lights on and industrial and business investors, some certainty that New Zealand will continue to be a great place to live, work or run a business, that it is now."

ENDS

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