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Meridian supports Australian emissions targets

Friday 18 July 2008

Meridian supports Australian emissions targets with trans-Tasman development project

Australian Treasurer, Wayne Swan, dropped in to meet Meridian Energy’s new Chief Executive Tim Lusk today. The visit followed Mr Swan’s day of
bilateral talks yesterday with New Zealand Finance Minister, Dr Michael Cullen, and the release of Australia’s Emissions Trading Scheme Green Paper.

Meridian also briefed the Treasurer on its involvement in a project that will see the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere being built by Meridian and AGL.

The wind farm, located on a 5,500 hectare site in Victoria, is being jointly developed by Meridian in partnership with Australian energy company AGL and will make a significant contribution to reducing Victoria’s and Australia’s CO2 emissions.

The project, named Macarthur, has been permitted to generate up to 450 MWs of new renewable electricity.

Meridian Energy Chief Executive Tim Lusk said this was an example of Meridian sharing its expertise in world class wind development and working collaboratively with AGL to build a sustainable future.

Generating Assets Waitaki River system The Upper Waitaki system begins at Lake Tekapo. Water passes through the Tekapo A power station and is diverted by a purpose-built hydro canal to Tekapo B station on the shores of Lake Pukaki. Water is drawn by canal from both Lakes Pukaki and Ohau to supply Ohau A, B and C power stations, before being discharged into Lake Benmore.

After passing through the Benmore power station, the water flows down the Waitaki River through the Aviemore and Waitaki stations. The Waitaki system holds about 66 percent of New Zealand’s hydro storage and provides some 25% of the country’s total power supply. Manapouri

The Manapouri power station – New Zealand’s largest hydro station - lies 178m underground on the western shore of Lake Manapouri. After passing through the station the water flows into Doubtful Sound via two 10km-long tailrace tunnels.

All of the stations are designed to be remote controlled from a control centre at Twizel Te Apiti

The country’s largest wind farm stands on the northern side of the Manawatu Gorge. Its 55 NEG Micon turbines give it a total capacity of 90MW. White Hill The White Hill wind farm, near Mossburn in northern Southland, was opened in June 2007. It has a total capacity of 58MW from its 29 Vestas wind turbines, the first 2MW machines installed in New Zealand. Aust Treasurer/2 “Meridian is building a strong reputation as a leading developer of wind generation with our projects throughout New Zealand and in Australia and Antarctica,” said Mr Lusk.

“On the Macarthur project, Meridian will be responsible for the design and construction of the wind farm and AGL, Australia’s largest electricity retailer, will take the power from the project. Each party will own 50 per cent of the completed wind farm.”

ENDS

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