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Wind Power denies Tuki project a “flop”

Wind Power has denied claims Tuki Wind Farm has “flopped”, saying a decision on its future would be made at the end of the year.

Wind farm opposition group Spa Country Landscape Guardians member Christian Wild this week said the project had ended and had struggled to overcome strong community rejection.

“The project has been unable to gain momentum against increasing community opposition, protected landscapes and what has proven to be an insufficient wind resource at Stoney Rises, where the wind test tower is currently broken,” Mr Wild said.

But Wind Power spokesman Ross Richards said the tower was operating and providing data.

He said the project’s future depended on the unknown nature of the Emissions Trading Scheme and carbon prices.

“We are expecting details about this legislation at the end of the year and that is when we will be able to make a decision on the next stage,” he said.

Only two people attended Wind Power’s one-on-one meetings at Smeaton on Tuesday, with only one of those registering for the session.

Mr Richards said given the vocal nature of some community members and their continuing requests for consultation, he was surprised at the low turnout.

“This to me suggests good community support,” he said.

By Emily Sobey

The Courier

7 June 2008