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Environment Court decision on West Wind welcomed

Media Release
For immediate release: 15 May 2007

Environment Court decision on West Wind welcomed

Meridian Energy has welcomed the Environment Court’s decision on its proposed wind farm near Wellington, Chief Executive Keith Turner said today.

Project West Wind is a wind farm development across Makara Farm and Terawhiti Station west of Wellington which could generate enough power to supply most of the Wellington region.

Dr Turner says the decision allows Meridian to build 66 of the 70 proposed turbines sought by the company.

“This is positive news for Wellington – and for New Zealand. We have always said that this site was a large resource and has the potential to be the best wind farm in the world; and we now have the opportunity to make that vision a reality.”

Dr Turner added a note of caution, saying that after substantially reducing the original size of the development, the loss of the further four turbines would have an impact on the economics of the project, which had already suffered due to the lengthy consenting process.

“But as the judges noted, Project West Wind will, when fully operational, meet much of the domestic electricity demand of the Wellington region by a process which does not emit pollutants and which does not contribute to some of the adverse effects of climate change. That is a huge positive.”

Meridian Energy is committed to generating electricity only from renewable resources and is the only New Zealand company to have its electricity certified carbon neutral.

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“I invite the people of Makara to now work with us, so that we can achieve the best possible result for all parties, and for the Wellington region.”

Resource consents for the full 70-turbine proposal were granted by the Wellington City and Great Wellington Regional councils in December 2005 but this was appealed by several parties. An Environment Court hearing was held from June last year for three weeks.


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