The Government intends putting two renewable energy projects on the fast track by using its special powers under the Resource Management Act.
Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said today Unison was seeking resource consents for a 34-turbine wind farm at Te Waka and Contact Energy was seeking consents for a new geothermal power station near Taupo.
Mr Mallard said he was going to “call in” the projects because they were of national significance.
That means they will be referred directly to either a Board of Inquiry or the Environment Court for decisions, instead of the usual process through district and regional councils.
“New Zealand’s aspiration is to be carbon neutral,” Mr Mallard said.
“To help us get there, the Labour-led government has set targets to have 90 per cent of our electricity generated from renewable sources by 2025 and therefore these proposals are of national significance.”
Mr Mallard said he had considered the views of the councils affected by his decision to intervene.
“The councils involved have the capacity to process and decide the applications but I consider the proposals should go through the special call in process.”
He said the call in notices would be issued in January after the holiday period.
20 December 2007
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