The High Court has upheld an appeal by Meridian Energy over its planned Project Hayes wind farm in Central Otago.
The state-owned generator and retailer argued in Dunedin in June that a “test” developed by the Environment Court, which declined it consents to build the country’s biggest wind farm, was unprecedented in nearly 20 years of the Resource Management Act.
Meridian said the test required it and every other power company to prove through cost-benefit analyses its project was better than all the alternatives.
The decision just out by Justice Chisholm and Justice Fogarty has allowed Meridian’s appeal and will redirect the case back to the Environment Court for reconsideration.
“Meridian is to be given a reasonable opportunity to present further evidence on the question of alternative locations,” the decision says.
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