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Industry developing real projects, more to come

Wind industry developing real projects, much more to come

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) annual conference closed this afternoon with a round-up of current wind projects and the promise of up to 1500 MW of wind energy which could be quickly developed.

In the final session of the conference, delegates heard a series of rapid-fire presentations from wind farm developers, whose projects represent 480 MW of the 800 MW of wind farm projects currently in the planning process, or awaiting construction. The developers updated the status of their projects and discussed the issues they face as they seek resource consents.

The presentations ranged from the Genesis Energy’s 20 MW Awhitu wind farm project through to the 210 MW West Wind development planned by Meridian Energy near Wellington.

Chief Executive of the NZWEA, James Glennie, said the conference had shown that wind was clearly New Zealand’s preferred form of electricity generation and was playing a rapidly increasing role in meeting New Zealand’s growing energy demand.

“Wind energy has, in marked contrast to other forms of generation, moved beyond empty promises and is now actively developing and building significant projects that New Zealand desperately needs.

“There has been enormous growth in the wind industry recently. The last 18 months have seen an increase of more than 300 per cent in installed capacity of wind turbines. However there is much more to come. Watch this space!”

In 2004 the wind industry was the fastest growing energy sector in New Zealand with growth of more than 300 per cent. 200 MW of new capacity has been consented in the last seven months and 607 MW is currently in the resource consent process.

The NZWEA has more than 60 members including some of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators, retailers and distribution companies.


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