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Genesis to appeal Awhitu Wind Farm RMA decision

Monday 27 September 2004

Genesis Energy to appeal Awhitu Wind Farm RMA decision

Genesis Energy will continue to pursue more renewable energy by appealing the decision of Franklin District Council to decline its application for resource consent to build the 19MW Awhitu Wind Farm near Auckland.

The application for resource consents was heard by two independent commissioners and the decision released on 15 September.

Genesis Energy Chief Executive Murray Jackson says the company has a growth policy for its renewable generation portfolio, including wind, and believes it has strong grounds for an appeal in the Environment Court.

"The Awhitu Wind Farm proposal comprises 19 wind turbines that would generate enough electricity for approximately 8000 homes. Several years' evaluation has shown the proposed wind farm site has a very good wind resource and minimal environmental impact."

In rejecting Genesis Energy's resource consent application the independent commissioners considered that the potential effect of the wind farm on Maori values, horse activities and visual impact would make the proposal inappropriate.

The Commissioners found that the effects of the wind farm on human health, public safety, property values, noise, traffic, erosion and site stability were not significant. They also found there would be many positive effects including meeting increased electricity demand and harnessing renewable energy.

The company's application for resource consent was supported by the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA), Environmental Defence Society, and the Ministry of Economic Development.

ENDS

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