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Bay Wind Farm to meet electricity critical need

Hawke’s Bay Wind Farm to meet critical need for electricity

A proposed $300 million wind farm on the Titiokura Summit, near Te Pohue will help meet the North Island’s critical need for electricity and increase the security of supply in Hawke’s Bay.

Wind Farm Developments Director Alistair Wilson said the proposed wind farm across three farms would support between 60-80 turbines producing up to 180-220MW of wind power - enough to power 78,000 - 95,000 houses.

Hawke’s Bay Wind Farm Limited will lodge a resource consent application with the Hastings District Council in May for the project, which is expected to be publicly notified later that month by the Council. Public comment will be welcomed.

The consent process could take up to six to nine months and construction a further 9-12 months with the wind farm supplying power to the national grid by the end of 2006 or early 2007.

“The economics of wind farming remains finely balanced and ultimate timing of the project will be dependent on a successful tender by the company in the Governments Kyoto Procotol Projects Mechanism tender for emission reduction units due in June this year,” Mr Wilson said.

The company’s three shareholders are companies involving local businessman Andy Lowe, Wind Farm Developments and Tararua Wind Farm landowner Hall Block Resources Ltd.

An Open Day for local residents and the community will be held at the Te Pohue Community Centre on April 27.

Mr Wilson said expert studies have already confirmed that the site on the Maungaharuru Range – mostly north of the Titiokura Summit offers an excellent wind resource and is close to the existing transmission network.

“The site is ideal for a wind farm. It has a low impact in terms of ecologically significant flora and fauna with the site having the ability to locate all wind farm equipment in cleared pastoral land,” Mr Wilson said.

The wind farm will be on three Te Pohue farms – Waitara Station (Lloyd and Sonya Holloway), Maunganui Station (Reece and Debbie Whitelock) and Rock Station (Murray and Delia King).

Maunganui Station land owner Reece Whitelock said the proposed wind farm is a significant boost for the Te Pohue community offering employment opportunities.

“Te Pohue is a small rural community and this is a major boost offering employment opportunities. We can also feel proud that Te Pohue land is generating electricity for Hawke’s Bay,” Mr Whitelock said.

“As a farmer in the district it is good to see exciting alternatives for farm options that don’t restrict our normal day to day operations and without harming the environment,” Mr Whitelock added.

Shareholder Andy Lowe said the wind farm is a positive step for Hawke’s Bay.

“We need to be looking at electricity alternatives and this wind farm will ensure continued supply to the region,” Mr Lowe said.

The project will provide employment during construction for up to 40 people and up to 6 to 10 permanent maintenance staff, hopefully with families, to boost the Te Pohue community.

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