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Ohariu wind farm may be cut back  

Wellington City Council is recommending that Meridian Energy’s 31-turbine Mill Creek wind farm be scaled back to just 25 turbines.

A report by planning officers says six turbines should be removed at the southern end of the Ohariu Valley site.

Nearly 700 submissions were received on Meridian’s proposal, which includes 111-metre high turbines projected to generate 71 megawatts of power – enough for 35,000 homes.

The council’s recommendations will be reported to a hearing on Meridian’s resource-consent application, due to start on August 11.

Local area planning manager Dougal List said the removal of the six turbines would lessen the visual and ecological impacts of the wind farm.

Mr List said officers had to weigh up significant local impacts against the benefits of renewable power generation.

Environmental impacts had to be balanced against the high suitability of the site.

Meridian Energy was unavailable for comment last night.

Jenny Ling

The Dominion Post

31 July 2008

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