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Top Performing Wind Farm Expansion on Schedule

TrustPower Media Statement
Friday 22 December 2006

Top Performing Wind Farm Expansion on Schedule

TrustPower's Tararua Wind Farm, which is already recognised internationally as the world's top performer, has passed yet another milestone with the arrival in New Zealand of equipment for its Stage 3 expansion.

The first of two turbine and blade shipments arrived at the Port of New Plymouth on schedule this week, with the second and final shipment due in February.

The equipment will be stored in New Plymouth and transported progressively by road to the wind farm site.

The expansion, which involves the addition of 31 Danish Vestas V90 turbines each of 3MW capacity, will more than double the capacity of the Tararua Wind Farm from it's present equivalent of 32,000 homes, to a total of 74,000 homes.

The 31 new turbines, of 90 metres diameter, which are the largest and most technically advanced ever installed in New Zealand, will sit alongside the existing 103 V47 turbines, which are only half the size and provide only 20% of the new machine's output

Site work, involving the creating of a road network, turbine foundations, cabling, transmission lines and the building of a new sub station, is now complete, allowing for the first new turbine to be commissioned and start supplying power in late January.

The entire expansion, which is expected to cost $185 million and inject $50 million into the local community, is on target for completion by July 2007.

TrustPower Chief Executive Keith Tempest says the arrival of the new turbines marks another important milestone in TrustPower's successful wind generation programme.

"We believe wind generation has an exciting future. In addition to the Tararua expansion, we are now involved in the resource consent process for a 200MW wind farm in Otago, and we are making good progress towards our goal of developing further wind generation facilities elsewhere in New Zealand and in Australia."

Mr Tempest said the Tararua expansion's addition of another 93MW of sustainable generation to the overall New Zealand electricity generation portfolio will make a valuable contribution towards New Zealand meeting its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol, through offsetting approximately 220,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

"The value of this project has been further reinforced by the recent announcement of the Government's Energy Strategy, and its clear focus on the need to secure our future by building sustainable rather than fossil fuelled generation to help reduce the effects of climate change".

ENDS

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