The company behind a proposed $40 million wind farm near Dunedin will decide in six months whether to pursue the project.
Windpower Maungatua, part-owned by listed company New Zealand Windfarms, wants to build a 40-turbine wind farm close to Mount Maungatua, near the Taieri Plain south of Dunedin, with a 20 megawatt (MW) capacity.
New Zealand Windfarms chief executive Chris Freear said wind data collected from a 50m mast at the site over the next six months would give the company enough quality information to make a decision.
“It’s shaping up as we expected really,” Freear said.
“We’re still quite some time from pushing the big green go button, definitely, but by the same token we haven’t tripped over anything yet.”
The mast would require resource consent and could be installed in eight weeks.
Freear would not comment when asked if his company was exploring other sites in Otago.
“We’re looking at sites all over New Zealand.”
Freear is a director of Windpower Maungatua. Three of the company’s directors – Lynley Smith, John Hyndman and David Tucker – are also directors of Windpower Otago.
Otago and Southland are becoming popular for wind farm proposals.
State power company Meridian Energy’s $100m, 29-turbine White Hill farm, near Mossburn, was opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark in June.
Meridian also has consent to build a $1.5 billion, 176-turbine farm, called Project Hayes, on Central Otago’s Lammermoor Range, 70km north-west of Dunedin. The consent decision has been appealed to the Environment Court.
TrustPower’s planned $400m, 100-turbine farm north of Lake Mahinerangi, 50km west of Dunedin, has also been appealed to the court.
28 January 2008
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