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Local wind energy expertise in latest wind farm

15 September 2006

Local wind energy expertise in latest wind farm

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association says the official opening of New Zealand’s newest wind farm, Te Rere Hau in Palmerston North, is a significant moment in the maturing of the local wind energy industry.

Fraser Clark, newly appointed Chief Executive to the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, says the new wind farm is significant because it is operated by a small local company and was built using locally designed and built technology.

“The Te Rere Hau wind farm shows that the local wind energy industry has come of age. The industry has now reached a vital level of skills and capability. This is critical if wind energy is to reach the target of providing 20% of the nation’s electricity needs.

“Future wind projects now have the certainty of a reliable and skilled local industry to plan, build and manage wind farms.

“Therefore we heartily extend our congratulations to NZ Windfarms on the opening of their Te Rere Hau wind farm,” Mr Clark said.

Mr Clark said with the start of Te Rere Hau and two other major wind projects under construction, the generation capacity of the New Zealand wind energy sector was about to double from the current capacity of 168MW, to 383MW.

“Wind energy projects are clearly very viable propositions, despite the falling value of the New Zealand dollar and rising fuel and transport costs that are affecting projects across the electricity sector,” he said.

He said the industry had a stream of projects coming online over the next few years, including Te Rere Hau (52 MW), (Meridian Energy’s White Hill in Southland (70 MW) and Stage 3 of TrustPower’s Tararua Windfarm (93 MW).

ENDS

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