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Consent Applications for Mahinerangi Wind Farm

TrustPower Lodges Resource Consent Applications for Mahinerangi Wind Farm

Thursday 29 June 2006.

TrustPower has lodged applications with the Dunedin City and Clutha District Councils for resource consents for its proposed Mahinerangi wind farm.

The proposed wind farm will be located on a 3260ha area of land near Lake Mahinerangi, which feeds TrustPower's 84MW Waipori hydro electric scheme.

TrustPower's application is for a development "envelope", that will allow for the generation of a maximum of 300MW, with the option of using turbines ranging from 2MW to 3.6MW each. The choice of turbine will be determined prior to construction to ensure that TrustPower is able to select the best available technology, price and delivery at that time.

The resource consent applications are for the "maximum impact" scenario, of 150 turbines (the number required using 2MW units) with a maximum height of 145 metres (the height of 3.6MW units). If the tallest 3.6MW units are used, the number required will be 83.

During construction the project will impact upon 7% of the land development envelope. Once commissioned, the area of land affected will be less than 2%, with the remainder being rehabilitated. As a result of extensive environmental and other studies carried out by independent consultants, TrustPower has planned the project to avoid areas of environmental significance, including Bottle Rock, the Black Rock Scientific Reserve, the Te Papanui Conservation Park and some 280ha of gully wetlands.

Subject to being granted the resource consent, and the availability of turbines, the first stage of the proposed $600 million development could be generating electricity by winter 2009.

TrustPower Chief Executive Keith Tempest says the project is another step in the development of TrustPower's, and New Zealand's, sustainable generation portfolio.

"This project allows us to take advantage of a good wind resource, and generate electricity with minimum environmental impact and no greenhouse gas emissions, using existing transmission infrastructure. Wind is a perfect partner for hydro, because when the wind is blowing water can be conserved for use when it is not. The location of the wind farm adjacent to the Waipori scheme, which has the largest hydro storage relative to its output of any hydro scheme in New Zealand, will enable us to make the best of both resources."

Because the wind farm will connect directly into local circuits supplying Dunedin City and the surrounding Otago area, it will improve efficiency and security of supply, reduce transmission costs, and free up power on the National Grid for use elsewhere.

ENDS


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