September 5, 2006
New Zealand

Wind farm commissioners eyed

By Helen Harvey

Energreen Wind has not yet lodged a resource consent application for its proposed Motorimu wind farm, but decisions are already being made about commissioners to oversee the hearing.

Planned for the top end of Scotts Road, it is expected to have 129 wind turbines – five in Horowhenua and the rest in Palmerston North.

The Australian energy company is expected to lodge its consent application in the next two weeks.

Tomorrow night, Horowhenua District Council will discuss appointing three independent commissioners.

It is recommending Richard Heerdegen, David McMahon and Dinah Williams, and Palmerston North City Council is expected to follow suit at its meeting on September 18.

The hearing is expected to last three days.

Another resource consent may be needed for works on Williams Road, which is the access road for the proposed wind farm, Horowhenua District Council environment and regulatory services manager Tony Thomas said in a report to the meeting.

If approved, the 129 turbines would be spread over four properties along the Tararua foothills.

Energreen Wind has wind farms worldwide, but is now concentrating on Australia and New Zealand, technical director Bernhard Voll said in May.

The company would sell the electricity generated by the wind farm to one of the retail power companies in New Zealand.

If approved Motorimu will be the company’s first wind farm in New Zealand.

In May Levin Environments by Design planning consultant Clare Barton said the height of the turbines would be 55 metres and, including the blade on the top, would extend to approximately 81m tall.

That’s smaller than Te Apiti’s and similar to the Tararua Wind Farm’s, but the Scotts Road turbines would have a tubular tower, not a lattice one, she said.

“The turbines will produce enough energy annually to power 40,000 homes.”

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