A proposed wind farm at Waverley is back on the agenda.
After years of delays, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on resource consents and a failed energy company bid, debate over the wind farm, which would be Taranaki’s first, is set to gear up.
TrustPower secured development rights from landowners Warwick Lupton and David Alexander in July 2010, and will begin a lengthy public consultation drive in September.
The site, southwest of Waverley, would cover 980 hectares between Dryden and Waipipi roads and could host as many as 50 turbines.
TrustPower community relations manager Graeme Purches said they weren’t in a place to comment on the specifics, including cost, but changes made to the original plans would make it a “much better, much more efficient wind farm”.
The original concept attracted strong objections and Mr Purches said the key to dispelling the rumours was keeping the public informed.
“Often dissent is based around misinformation,” he said.
“We decided it was a good site but we could make it even better.”
He said advances in technology meant noise could be reduced significantly as long as the right turbines were bought.
He said all going well, construction would begin late next year.
In 2009, the project hit a snag when Australian company Allco Wind Energy was put into receivership.
The Taranaki Daily News understands two 60m high monitoring masts erected by Allco showed the wind off the sea at Waverley was more consistent and less turbulent than other developed wind farm sites.
Mr Purches said they hoped to use the site to balance their power station at Patea.
“When the wind is blowing you can hold water.”
Neither Mr Lupton nor Mr Alexander could be reached for comment yesterday.
A spokesman for the South Taranaki District Council said they were aware of the Waverley wind farm proposal.
However, the district council was unable to comment until a resource consent application was lodged.