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Sustainable energy coming to Wellington

News release
4 December 2006

Sustainable energy coming to Wellington

Puketiro Wind Farm
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Today Greater Wellington awarded the development rights for a 90 MW wind farm on the Puketiro site to RES New Zealand Ltd (RES). This development is part of Greater Wellington’s commitment to sustainable energy.

‘This is a tangible example of Greater Wellington delivering on our commitment to making the Wellington region more sustainable’ said Ian Buchanan, Chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council. There is the potential for the energy produced by this wind farm to power the new electric trains which are scheduled to arrive around the same time as the wind farm would be commissioned. The Puketiro wind farm proposal allows for 30 three megawatt turbines on Council land, giving a maximum output of 90 megawatts. The actual capacity will depend on the investigations to be carried out by RES over the next 18 months and the resource consent process.

Mr Buchanan said ‘Although the community has been very supportive of the principle of developing the Puketiro wind farm, the Council is imposing stringent consultation requirements on RES throughout the resource consent process.’ RES has indicated that it would expect to apply for resource consent in the second half of 2008, with the possibility of commencing construction in 2009 and completing the project in 2010.

Mr Buchanan said that the Council was impressed with the credentials of RES Group, which has a company office near London completely powered by sustainable energy, as they are solely dedicated to the development of wind farms and employ more than 200 staff worldwide. Mr Buchanan added: ‘The RES Group is an experienced wind farm developer, having developed over 1,200 megawatts of wind farm capacity across the world, and another 600 megawatts under construction.’

Greater Wellington will receive royalty payments for the use of the land by RES and 50% of any carbon credits gained by the project. These carbon credits could be used to offset any carbon emissions produced by Greater Wellington in the course of our business. Details of the royalty payments agreement are commercially sensitive. No ratepayers’ funds are being invested in the wind farm.

RES has also indicated to the Council that it will be approaching some private landowners about the possibility of including turbines on their land to slightly expand the wind farm.

ENDS

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