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Wind farm planned for Waikaretu  

Plans for a major new wind farm about 35km northwest of Huntly will be announced in Hamilton next week.

Power company Contact Energy will unveil its plans on Tuesday.

It is understood Contact Energy has been looking at a site in the Waikaretu-Limestone Downs area.

Property owners in the area said they had been approached by Contact Energy about the wind farm.

Waikaretu Valley Rd resident Nikky Young said Contact Energy engineers had erected a mast on the property four to five months ago to take wind readings. A monitor had also been set up to record noise levels.

Contact spokesman Jonathan Hill said favourable discussions had been held with a number of property owners on the project.

Contact Energy and The Wind Farm Group had been investigating a wind farm in the area for more than three years, he said.

The proposed wind farm is part of Contact Energy’s $2 billion investment in renewable energy projects and follows the launch of the Government’s energy strategy this week.

In February, Contact chief executive David Baldwin said the company was working on developing two wind farm sites which together could produce up to 400 mW of electricity.

Wel Networks hopes to get approval early in the new year for a 28-turbine wind farm near Te Uku, at a cost of $200 million. A 48ha site, south of Te Uku and about 8km inland from Raglan, has been earmarked for development.

Wel Networks has applied to the Waikato District Council for resource consent and submissions will be heard next month. Genesis Energy has put a planned wind farm on Awhitu Peninsula, southwest of Auckland, on hold due to rising costs.

By Aaron Leaman and Franklin County News

Waikato Times

13 October 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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