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Contact files application for wind farm

26 June 2008

Contact files application for Hauāuru mā raki wind farm

Contact Energy today filed resource consent applications for the company’s Hauāuru mā raki wind farm. The applications were filed with Environment Waikato, the Franklin District Council and the Waikato District Council.

The project is expected to cost more than $1 billion and will be located on around 17,000 hectares of isolated farmland to the south of Port Waikato. At up to 540 megawatts, the wind farm will produce enough renewable electricity to power up to 200,000 average houses.

Contact Energy Chief Executive, David Baldwin, said the development of Hauāuru mā raki will make a significant contribution to a more renewable, climate-friendly energy future for New Zealand. He said, as attention is focused on low storage levels in New Zealand’s hydro lakes, it was important that other forms of generation are developed to balance and support the country’s hydro facilities.

“Located close to the major electricity demand centres of Auckland and Hamilton, Hauāuru mā raki will make an important contribution to national electricity supplies and minimise losses associated with transmission of electricity from one end of the country to another,” he said.

Mr Baldwin said it had taken longer than originally expected to file the consent application, as the company has extended its consultation with landowners across whose properties a transmission line will cross to connect the wind farm to the main transmission grid.

Hauāuru mā raki will be built in stages, with the first electricity expected from the wind farm in 2012/2013 and completion of construction in 2015/16. The project is likely to inject around $150 million into the local economy during the construction of the project and around $8.5 million per year after construction is complete.


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