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SOEs exploring wind development together

MEDIA RELEASE: Wednesday 13 December 2006

SOEs exploring wind development together

New Zealand's largest corporate farmer Landcorp and major electricity generator and retailer Meridian Energy have signed an agreement to investigate wind generation development at Omamari Farm in Northland.

The site is about 10 km north of Dargaville and could potentially support a wind farm of about 100 MW. This is Landcorp's first wind development investigation agreement and Meridian is working with it to investigate other sites throughout New Zealand. The agreement also covers development of the wind farm if the wind resource proves viable.

Meridian Chief Executive Keith Turner says the Omamari site could provide valuable generation in an area that presently has limited generation. "The early indications are that the wind resource is good enough to merit further work. Wind and farming are able to co-exist very happily as we have proved at Te Apiti, north of the Manawatu Gorge," he said.

Landcorp Farming Chief Executive Chris Kelly supported Keith Turner's comments saying "if the wind farm is fully developed at Omamari, it will only encompass 24ha of the property, which has a total area of 2,300ha, so has very little impact on the farming operation. Further, this initiative supports the Government's policy of promoting renewable sources of energy generation."

The site was selected because of its elevation, expected good wind resource and its location back from the coast. There are still significant issues to address, including transmission.

ENDS

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