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NZ Wind Energy - Exit of Hauāuru mā raki Development

20 August 2013

NZ Wind Energy Association Disappointed at Exit of Hauāuru mā raki Development

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association is disappointed that Contact Energy has decided to exit the Hauāuru mā raki wind generation development on the Waikato coast.

“Wind generation is charging ahead globally. 2012 was the biggest year yet for wind installations, with five times NZ’s entire electricity capacity commissioned,” said NZ Wind Energy Association CEO, Eric Pyle.

“Wind is increasingly cost competitive and we believe it is the best clean and efficient electricity source.”

“We appreciate that this country currently has flat demand for electricity, but if New Zealand is to reach the bipartisan target of 90% renewable electricity by 2025, then we need new wind farms,” said Mr Pyle.

Contact Energy is maintaining its option to build the Waitahora wind generation development project near Dannevirke that would have 58 turbines and generate up to 156MW of electricity.

The NZ Wind Energy Association is keen for Government to put policy behind the 90% target so the electricity industry can have certainty that will drive investment in renewable generation.

“15% of NZ’s CO2 emissions come from the electricity sector. It wouldn’t be hard to reduce those emissions by more than 4 million tonnes of CO2 per year. To meet the 90% target we need to scale back our fossil fuel plant and install the renewable generation that is already consented,” said Mr Pyle.

NZ Wind Energy Association understands that there may still be a future for the Hauāuru mā raki wind farm (commonly known as HMR), but as a smaller proposition.

“HMR could also work as set of embedded generation developments,” said Mr Pyle. “The project is fully consented and with the right policy settings it could be built in stages over time.”

Hauāuru mā raki is a joint venture between Contact Energy and Wind Farm Group Ltd.

More information on Hauāuru mā raki can be found at http://windenergy.org.nz/nz-wind-farms/proposed-wind-farms/hauauru-ma-raki.

More information on Waitahora can be found at http://windenergy.org.nz/nz-wind-farms/proposed-wind-farms/waitahora.

ENDS

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