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Consent conditions clear way for Hawea generation

Consent conditions clear way for Hawea generation

Contact Energy today welcomed the resolution of final resource consent conditions for the construction of a small hydro generation scheme at the Lake Hawea control gates.

The two points appealed by Contact from the original consents were in relation to the drafting of two conditions; one clarifying timing on one aspect of the construction process and the other relating to the volumes of water able to be delivered to the Hawea Irrigation Company. Both points have been resolved by agreement with interested parties without the need for further hearings.

Contact Chief Executive David Baldwin said with the consents now finalised, the company would begin the planning and design phase for the 17 megawatt project.

“The resolution of the consents is very good news for the local community,” he said.

“Demand for electricity in the Otago Lakes region has increased rapidly over the last 10 years and this project will provide the local community with up to 17 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity.”

Mr Baldwin said the design work would be undertaken over 2008, with the project expected to be completed and generating electricity for the region by 2012.

The project was originally lodged by Contact in 2004, but this application was withdrawn and a new scheme developed to meet community concerns over the environmental impact of the project.

“We have taken on board the views of the community and redesigned the scheme to reduce its environmental impact,” said Mr Baldwin.

“We now have a very good renewable generation project with minimal environmental impact and a much higher level of community support.

“We will continue to work closely alongside the local community as we now develop this project further, particularly on the design of the powerhouse buildings,” he said.

When construction starts, it is not expected to disrupt the use of the river for kayaking and it will be timed to accommodate brown and rainbow trout spawning.

ENDS

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