Meridian Energy today announced it is withdrawing the resource consent applications for its Mt Munro wind farm project near Eketahuna.
The Mt Munro project is a 60MW, 20 turbine wind farm proposal located 5km south of Eketahuna. The project would generate enough electricity to power about 31,000 average New Zealand homes.
In December 2011, Meridian lodged resource consents for Mt Munro with Horizons and Wellington regional councils and Tararua and Masterton district councils. In September 2012 Meridian asked the councils for further time in which to hold a hearing as it wished to complete further work prior to the hearing. This included completing four-seasons of bird monitoring in the vicinity of the proposed transmission line route.
Since then two seasons of bird monitoring on the wind farm site has been completed, water quality monitoring continued and local iwi have completed their Cultural Values Assessments.
Meridian’s Renewable Options Manager Chris More says Meridian completed the additional monitoring and other work, with no issues of concern. However, current and forecast electricity market conditions mean that now is not a good time to proceed with the project.
“We’ve made a decision to withdraw the Mt Munro consent applications because of the current flat demand for electricity, which means fewer new generation projects will be required in the short to medium term. Mt Munro remains an attractive project for Meridian,” says Chris.
“Like other generators we recognise that the demand outlook for the next five years is probably flat to slightly declining.”
Meridian will continue to monitor the situation looking at New Zealand’s generation/supply opportunities and will look at reviewing the project should market conditions improve.
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