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Consent granted for White Hill wind farm

Wednesday 22 December 2004

Consent granted for White Hill wind farm

State-owned electricity generator and retailer Meridian Energy has gained resource consent for its proposed wind farm at White Hill in Southland.

The Southland District Council granted the consent after a three-day hearing last week.

At its proposed 70 MW capacity, the development, near Mossburn in northern Southland, could power all the 30,000 houses in the Southland District and Invercargill City area.

Meridian Chief Executive Keith Turner said the company is delighted to have received consent.

“The White Hill site looks very promising, and we are thrilled that we now have the opportunity to bring this plan to fruition. Our wind monitoring on the site has shown us that there is a very good resource here, and it has the potential to make a major contribution to security of electricity supply in this part of the country.

“What has been particularly pleasing about this is the overwhelming support we have received from the community for this project with submissions running 10-1 in favour. There seems to be a growing recognition that renewable energy, and particularly wind, is the technology of today and the future and the way to keep New Zealand a clean and attractive country,” he said.

Generating Assets Waitaki River system The Upper Waitaki system begins at Lake Tekapo. Water passes through the Tekapo A power station and is diverted by a purpose-built hydro canal to Tekapo B station on the shores of Lake Pukaki.

Water is drawn by canal from both Lakes Pukaki and Ohau to supply Ohau A, B and C power stations, before being discharged into Lake Benmore.

After passing through the Benmore power station, the water flows down the Waitaki River through the Aviemore and Waitaki stations.

The Waitaki system holds about 66 percent of New Zealand’s hydro storage and provides some 25% of the country’s total power supply.


The Manapouri power station – New Zealand’s largest hydro station – lies 178m underground on the western shore of Lake Manapouri.

After passing through the station the water flows into Doubtful Sound via two 10km-long tailrace tunnels.

All of the stations are designed to be remote controlled from a control centre at Twizel.

Te Apiti The country’s largest windfarm stands on the northern side of the Manawatu Gorge. Its 55 NEG Micon turbines give it a total capacity of 90MW.

Australia Meridian Energy Australia Ltd owns the Southern Hydro power stations in Victoria.

The ten stations have a total generating capacity of 540MW, with about 940 GWh of output.

The company also owns hydro generation facilities at five small dams in New South Wales and Victoria, generating a total of 62MW.

The site is mostly planted in Douglas fir seedlings and has an existing network of roads which could be widened for wind farm construction.

Meridian has a long-term agreement with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas which supplied the turbines for its recently-opened Te Apiti wind farm in the Manawatu, although no final decision has been made on what size of machine will be used at White Hill.

Dr Turner says it is hoped that construction will begin in the first half of 2005.


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