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Mt Cass Wind Farm Receives Resource Consent

14 December 2011

Mt Cass Wind Farm Receives Resource Consent

The Environment Court has approved a resource consent for MainPower’s proposed wind farm on Mt Cass in North Canterbury.

Managing Director Allan Berge said the decision provided the opportunity for a substantial addition to the generation of renewable energy for North Canterbury and Kaikoura – the wind farm could produce up to 40 percent of the region’s electricity needs.

“This is an area with significant sustainable generation resources, but no significant generation of any kind. Mt Cass gives us the opportunity to improve the security of supply for our region as well as contributing to national goals for renewable energy.”

Mr Berge said MainPower was particularly pleased the Environment Court had recognised the substantial positive impact the development could have on the biodiversity of Mt Cass.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work by our team in understanding the impacts of the development on native plant and animal life on Mt Cass, and how we could work to not just limit the impacts but, in fact, improve the situation.

“It is also pleasing that as a community-owned company, MainPower has the opportunity to develop a project that will make a significant economic contribution to the region.”

No date has been set to commence construction of the Mt Cass wind farm.

About MainPower
MainPower owns and operates the power lines used to supply electricity to the people and businesses of North Canterbury and Kaikoura. We service every household, farm, business and community organisation in the region.

We have been part of the local community since 1928, starting our life as the North Canterbury Electric Power Board. We are one of the largest employers in the region and a proud member of the local community.

We are owned by the MainPower Trust on behalf of the community. Our profits go back to the community through a monthly power bill rebate.

Our vision is to contribute to the local community by being a leading electricity and energy business.

About the Proposed Mt Cass Wind Farm
The proposed Mount Cass wind farm is 5.5km from Waipara in North Canterbury.

Resource consent allows MainPower to choose the final wind turbines to be used for the development, allowing for 26 to 67 turbines depending on the size chosen:

• 67 turbines of 500kW capacity each, total capacity 33.5MW
• 40 turbines 1MW capacity each, total capacity 40MW
• 26 turbines 3MW capacity each, total capacity 78MW.

There will be a net gain in biodiversity if the project goes ahead. As part of the project, MainPower will protect 127 Hectares of predominantly native shrubland and forest in a limestone based ecosystem. The Environment Court decision recognises that there may be an increase in native bird populations as a result.

The wind farm will link to the electricity network near Waipara.

The resource consent has a time limit of eight years, within which construction must be started. Before construction can commence, MainPower will monitor hydrology and bird populations for two years.

ENDS

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