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First power celebrated at Meridian Wind Farm

First power celebrated at
Meridian Energy wind farm

Energy Minister Pete Hodgson was guest of honour at a ceremony marking the generation of first power at Meridian Energy’s Te Apiti wind farm north of the Manawatu Gorge today.

Construction is well advanced of the 55-turbine wind farm with 26 turbines installed and all of the concrete foundations poured. So far 17 machines have been commissioned and now supply electricity to the national grid through Transpower’s Woodville substation.

Meridian Chief Executive Keith Turner says Project Te Apiti has set a number of new standards for the power industry in New Zealand including achieving first power in less than 12 months since gaining consents for the project.

“Te Apiti confirms for us the potential for wind generation in this country. It is absolutely compatible with hydro development in New Zealand, in fact, we probably have the best set up in the world to integrate these two fuel sources,” he said.

In response to high interest in the development from the surrounding regions and tourists, a visitor parking area has been established beneath one of the 1.65 MW turbines and this was opened after the first power ceremony.

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