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July start for White Hill windfarm

Thursday 26 May 2005

July start for White Hill windfarm

Construction is scheduled to begin in July on New Zealand’s next large-scale wind farm development at White Hill in Southland.

State-owned electricity generator and retailer Meridian Energy says if all goes according to plan ­ subject to the weather - the wind farm will produce its first power in April or May next year and be fully commissioned in the third quarter of 2006.

Chief Executive Keith Turner says the farm will consist of 29 two-megawatt turbines ­ which will produce enough electricity to supply about 30,000 average households ­ or nearly every household in the Southland District and Invercargill City area.

“We have selected Vestas V80 turbines, and 29 of these will give the project a total capacity of about 60 megawatts.

“Each of these turbines stands on a 67-metre tower with a rotor diameter of 80 metres.”

This compares with the 1.65MW turbines at Meridian’s Te Apiti wind farm north of the Manawatu Gorge; which, with a rotor diameter of 70 metres on towers of 70 metres are currently the largest operating in New Zealand.

Dr Turner says the turbines will be delivered to the port of Bluff and transported to the White Hill site commencing in January of next year.

Tenders for construction and related work will go out over the next few weeks and Meridian is confident of having significant local contractor involvement in development of the site.

“Our wind monitoring on the White Hill 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,” Dr Turner says.

Consent was granted last year for a development of up to 70MW and was not appealed.


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