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NZ's renewable energy target for 2012 on track

New Zealand’s renewable energy target for 2012 well on track

New Zealand’s renewable energy target for 2012 is well on track following the granting of all the required consents to the Rotokawa Joint Venture, a company formed between Mighty River Power and Tauhara North No. 2 Trust, for further geothermal development of the Rotokawa geothermal field.

Land use consents were granted today to the Joint Venture from the Taupo District Council and resource consents were obtained from Environment Waikato earlier this month.

Joint Venture Director, and Mighty River Power chief executive, Doug Heffernan said the partners were now poised to make a significant commercial commitment with regard to building a second geothermal power station at Rotokawa.

“We have already embarked on a multi –million dollar drilling programme for the project and will be negotiating with equipment suppliers in the coming months prior to commencing construction of a new 130 MW power station to be called Nga Awa Purua.

“Gaining these consents to proceed is an important milestone for the project and we would like to acknowledge the expedient way in which both councils have processed the resource consent application. The support of the community has made this a straightforward process. Environment Waikato has demonstrated a robust regulatory understanding of the geothermal resource and the important role it has to play as a renewable energy source,” said Mr Heffernan.

The new power plant will be built close to the existing Rotokawa geothermal power station and will connect into existing 220kv transmission lines directly over the field. The plant is expected to generate an average of 1100 GWh annually and provide reliable base-load energy that is not sensitive to climatic variations.

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“More importantly, it is estimated that the project will provide about 13% of the Government’s target for new generation capacity by 2012 from renewable energy sources,” said Mr Heffernan.

Construction is expected to commence in the first half of 2008 and take approximately two years to complete and commission. A workforce of up to 250 will be on site during its construction and 12 permanent staff will run the power station once it becomes operational.

Editors Note:

  • The Rotokawa Joint Venture ( partnership between Tauhara North No.2 Trust and Mighty River Power ) has successfully operated the existing steamfield for ten years during which the JV has developed a track record as a responsible manager of the Rotokawa geothermal field.
  • The Rotokawa Joint Venture owns the wells and pipework supplying geothermal steam to Mighty River Power’s 34MW power station, at Rotokawa which is located ten kilometres north east of Taupo. The new resource consents will allow the joint venture to continue supplying geothermal steam to the existing power station and enable total generation on the Rotokawa geothermal field to be increased to approximately 165MW.
  • Resource consent applications were lodged with Environment Waikato and the Taupo District Council in June 2007. The resource consents were granted on 3 December and 17 December respectively.
  • Mighty River Power has made significant investment in new geothermal generation capacity. Construction of a new 90MW $300 million geothermal power station in Kawerau will be completed in 2008. Earlier this year the Tuaropaki Power Company, in which we are a 25% investor, expanded the Mokai plant by 17MW to a total of 112MW. Last month, in conjunction with the Tuaropaki Trust, we successfully negotiated with Contact Energy to allow the Tuaropaki Trust to acquire Contact’s land holding that lies over some of the existing Mokai geothermal resource, and then finalised commercial arrangements with the Tuaropaki Trust which allows joint development of the Mokai geothermal resource under this expanded land area.
  • Geothermal Power stations have a capacity factor of almost 100% and therefore are capable of producing up to three times the amount of energy as the same sized wind farm. The new Nga Awa Purua power plant will generate the same amount of energy as a 400 MW wind farm and require much less transmission capacity.


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