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Tararua windfarm plans slashed back  

A $3 billion Australian finance company, Allco, says its New Zealand subsidiary is considering whether to appeal against constraints on its proposed windfarm in the Tararuas.

Allco Wind Energy NZ (AWE) was last night granted approval to build a windfarm in the Tararua Ranges on the overlap of the Manawatu and Horowhenua districts, but on a much smaller scale than it had hoped.

The company’s technical director, Bernhard Voll, said today that it was looking at the details of the decision and considering whether to appeal the resource consent granted for just 75 of the 127 turbines it had sought.

“It does have a significant effect on the economics of the project,” Mr Voll said. The full Motorimu project would have provided 110MW of power.

Three independent commissioners at Palmerston North considered the resource consent application but concluded the benefits derived from renewable energy were not strong enough to justify 52 of the turbines.

The commissioners say the rejected turbines could have had visual and noise implications as they were to be built on a front ridge line.

Another power generator, Mighty River Energy, earlier this year called for a national environmental standard for wind generation to set out national regulations and performance standards.

It said the existing NZ standard on noise from wind turbines was being repeatedly re-litigated at consent hearings by project opponents, and used as an example the Motorimu Wind Farm Ltd proposal by Allco.

“Incorporating an accepted noise standard into a national environmental standard would eliminate unnecessary case-by-case debate,” Mighty River Power said.

Allco is also planning a $300 million wind farm is planned for further north, on the coastline near Waverley. It wants about 45 turbines there to produce up to 135 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the equivalent of 59,000 homes.

Allco Wind Energy also has interests in a Wairarapa wind farm project.

Allco Wind Energy NZ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allco Finance Group, an international financial services business which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

It is currently investigating other wind farm opportunities in Australia and the United States and is involved in financing waste water facilities, power generation facilities, pipelines and port facilities around the world.


Manawatu Standard

27 June 2007

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