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Climate change policy accelerates energy projects

Thursday, 1 April 2004 Media Statement

Climate change policy accelerates energy projects

A climate change policy offering 'carbon credits' to new cleaner energy projects has brought forward significant new electricity generation proposals.

Contracts have now been signed for all but one of fifteen projects that bid successfully for credits from the climate change Projects to Reduce Emissions programme.

"The total amount of new electricity generation proposed in these projects equates to about 240 megawatts, or more than a third of the electricity that would have been delivered by Meridian Energy's cancelled Project Aqua," said the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

Six of the projects, totalling about 100 megawatts, have been announced to date: Genesis Power's 5 megawatt extension of its Hau Nui wind farm in Southern Wairarapa and its planned new 19 megawatt wind farm on the Awhitu Peninsula south of Auckland; the proposed Wainui Hills Wind Farm of up to 30 megawatts, near Wellington; New Zealand Wind Farms' proposed 50 megawatt wind farm in the Manawatu; Palmerston North City Council's Awapuni Landfill methane generation project of about 1 megawatt, and the Esk Hydro Power micro-hydro project of about 1 megawatt in Hawke's Bay.

"Full details of the remaining projects now contracted will be announced individually over the next few weeks, according to arrangements with the companies concerned," Mr Hodgson said. "They include hydro, geothermal, cogeneration and wind energy developments that will add about 140 megawatts to the total disclosed so far, if all proceed as planned.

"These projects all have a strong incentive to begin generating by January 2008, a year before the first power from Project Aqua was expected, as any delay beyond January 2008 would mean fewer credits for the project owners.

"All these projects will receive carbon credits, providing they go ahead, because they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation. Besides this environmental benefit they will help make New Zealand’s electricity supply more secure, showing how environmental and economic benefits can be tied together. That's a win for these businesses, the energy sector and New Zealand as a whole."

ENDS

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