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Trustpower Begins Consultation for Proposed Wind Farm

Trustpower Begins Community Consultation for Proposed Local Wind Farm

TrustPower is encouraging the South Taranaki community, particularly those living in Waverley and landowners close to its proposed Waverley Wind Farm site, to be part of a five month consultation phase it is about to launch.

TrustPower’s Community Relations Coordinator Suzi Luff says it’s a great chance for the community to learn about the company’s proposed wind farm project and for local people to have any questions they may have answered.

“We think it is important to share information about the proposed wind farm, while also providing forums and opportunities to discuss the project with the community.

“We really do want the community to be a part of the lead-up for this development, to understand what we are doing, and have their views listened to” says Miss Luff.

Community information and feedback meetings, an open day, an information stall at the Waverley A&P Show combined with information available from TrustPower’s website and an online forum set up on Facebook are the methods which will be used to consult the wider South Taranaki community.

The first focus of the consultation programme is a community information and feedback evening scheduled for Wednesday 31 October 2012 at the Waverley Community Centre at 5:30pm. Interested community members are urged to attend and personally meet with the TrustPower personnel behind the venture, who will outline the project, the background studies and the consultation process. They will also facilitate a question and answer session.

The community consultation phase is set to run until TrustPower lodges its resource consent application with the Taranaki Regional Council and South Taranaki District Council, scheduled for March 2013.

Ryan Piddington (Lead Environmental Advisor) will facilitate the community consultation process. Ryan will be assisted by TrustPower Project Engineer Jim Pearson and TrustPower Major Projects manager Clayton Delmarter.
This team has extensive experience in consultation and consenting of hydro and wind farm developments.

A specialised consultant team made up of experts from outside of TrustPower is also part of this community consultation phase. They will attend the community information and feedback meetings, (and can also be available for smaller meetings if requested) and combined with TrustPower’s consultation team, they will provide a wide range of information about the project.

Consultation with local iwi Nga Rauru and Ngati Ruanui began in 2009. Discussions with Department of Conservation, Taranaki Regional Council and South Taranaki District Council started in 2010. Neighbouring landowners of the wind farm’s proposed site have been in discussions since earlier this year.

Background studies into the potential impact of the Waverley Wind Farm have included the following areas of archaeology, engineering, cultural, ecology (birds, terrestrial and aquatic), economics, landscape and visual, noise, recreation and traffic. A number of these studies have resulted in reports that are at the draft consultation stage and will be available on the TrustPower website at a later date.

The proposed Waverley Wind Farm’s 980 hectare site borders the Tasman Sea and Whenuakura River, approximately six kilometres south-east of Patea and seven kilometres south-west of Waverley. The wind farm would be constructed across four private properties.

The Waverley Wind Farm would have no more than 48 turbines, each with a maximum height from ground to blade tip of 160 metres. The maximum output of the wind farm is calculated to be approximately 140MW, dependent on the final transmission network capacity and wind turbine model selected.

TrustPower owns and operates the nearby Patea Hydro Electric Power Scheme and has done so since 1984. Coupling the proposed Waverley Wind Farm with this hydro scheme would mean that when the wind is blowing TrustPower would be able to conserve water for use when the wind is not blowing, enhancing the output and efficiency of the Patea scheme.

The Waverley Wind Farm project description is available online at www.trustpower.co.nz.

TrustPower is New Zealand’s fifth largest power generator and retailer and is sixth on the NZX. It has 480 staff, two call centres, 36 hydro generation stations, two wind farms in New Zealand and one in South Australia.

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