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TrustPower granted resource consent for windfarm

Tuesday 5 July, 2005

TrustPower has been granted resource consent for 31 turbines of the 40 turbines sought for the Stage 3 development of its Tararua windfarm.

The nine turbines not granted consent were opposed by the local airport authority, and TrustPower had always understood that these would be subject to satisfying aviation safety requirements.

Chief Executive Keith Tempest says TrustPower will now review the business case based on the smaller number of turbines. That process will take place over the next few weeks, and if the project remains viable, TrustPower will then proceed with calling tenders for turbine supply and construction.

"New Zealand has an urgent need for new generation capacity. This 93 MW expansion will provide enough power for the equivalent of 42,000 homes."

Mr Tempest says that if the project does get the green light, and is not held up by an appeal to the Environment Court, it should be producing its first power before the end of 2006, with the full expansion completed in time for winter 2007.

The Stage 2 development of the Tararua Windfarm was made possible because of the granting of Carbon Credits by the New Zealand Government. The latest Stage 3 development has also been granted Carbon Credits, subject to it going ahead.

"Carbon credits are awarded for projects that offset greenhouse gas emissions, helping New Zealand meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol. The credits are issued for projects that would not otherwise be financially viable, on the basis of actual emissions displaced, once the project has been completed. Our windfarm developments are excellent examples of sustainable environmentally friendly alternatives to gas or coal fired generation, and would not have been made possible without the Government, through its Climate Change Office, issuing these credits."

TrustPower's existing Tararua wind farm was built in 1999 and doubled in size early last year. It has 103 turbines, each 47 metres in diameter and delivering 600kw, producing enough power for 32,000 homes.

The Stage 3 development, if confirmed, will add 31 turbines, each 90 metres in diameter and producing 3MW, resulting in the total output of the Tararua windfarm being equivalent to the annual supply to 74,000 average New Zealand homes.


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