TrustPower’s application to establish a $600 million wind farm near Lake Mahinerangi has been temporarily suspended.
The company had asked for the resource consent application it lodged in June to be suspended and intended to replace it with a modified consent “within weeks”, TrustPower community relations manager Graeme Purches said last night.
TrustPower was seeking permission from the Dunedin City Council, Clutha District Council and Otago Regional Council to erect up to 150 wind turbines, each up to 45 storeys high, on a 3260ha site southwest of Dunedin.
Construction of the turbines would involve 150 workers bulldozing 80km of tracks and shifting up to 2.4 million cu m of soil.
The wind farm would generate enough electricity to power 150,000 households.
The proposal was strongly opposed by a group of environments and farmers, who formed the Upland Landscape Protection Society and geared themselves up for a protracted fight.
Asked last night if the modified consent would be for a smaller wind farm with fewer turbines, Mr Purches would not comment.
TrustPower was still “absolutely committed” to a wind farm at Mahinerangi, he said.
The company had asked the councils to delay publicly advertising the application until the modifications could be lodged, he said.
“The application needs to be in the form in which it will proceed, otherwise it is a waste of time and resources for everyone.”
Applications were not often suspended, city council resource consents manager Alan Worthington said yesterday.
Suspending an application meant it was in limbo until the applicant chose to reactivate it or withdraw it, he said. There was no time limit for the applicant to make that decision.
By Allison Rudd
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