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Green light for Genesis Energy’s Awhitu Wind Farm

Green light for Genesis Energy’s Awhitu Wind Farm

Genesis Energy’s appeal to the Environment Court to develop a wind farm on Awhitu Peninsula south of Auckland has been upheld.

The decision by the Environment Court grants Genesis Energy resource consent to proceed with an 18 turbine development, which will have a capacity of around 18 MW and generate enough electricity for approximately 7,500 homes.

Genesis Energy Chief Executive Murray Jackson said the company is pleased with the Environment Court’s decision as it supports Genesis Energy’s commitment to wind and renewable energy.

“The decision from the Environment Court is good news for us and good news for renewable energy,” said Mr Jackson.

“Awhitu Peninsula is an excellent site for a wind farm because of its uniform wind characteristics, good site access and its proximity to a large customer base.”

The Environment Court decision noted that the granting of resource consent for Genesis Energy’s Awhitu Wind Farm was justified on the basis of the national need for more renewable energy and the minor visual effects on the local environment.

Mr Jackson said, “The Environment Court decision is a step in the right direction for future wind energy generation projects in New Zealand. We are keen to see that the country’s increasing demand for electricity is a mix of renewable and thermal energy. This decision sets a positive precedent for future wind farm development.”

Genesis Energy has worked with the community in Waiuku and surrounding areas to develop a wind farm proposal that has minimal visual and environmental impact. The company also agreed prior to the Environment Court hearing to remove a turbine from the resource consent application and relocate two turbines to locations with less visual impact.

Genesis Energy’s proposed Awhitu Wind Farm was supported in the appeal process by Greenpeace, Auckland Regional Council, Environmental Defence Society, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and local residents.

The Awhitu Wind Farm is planned for commissioning in November 2007.

ENDS

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