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Meridian dumps Mt Munro wind

State-owned New Zealand energy company, Meridian Energy has announced it will not proceed with construction of a 20-turbine wind farm project at Mt Munro in the North Island.

According to a statement from Meridian, now 51 percent Government owned after last month’s NZ$1.88 billion float, “current and forecast electricity market conditions mean that now is not a good time to proceed” with the 60MW 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,” said Chris More, Renewable Options Manager for Meridian Energy.
“Like other generators, we recognise that the demand outlook for the next five years is probably flat to slightly declining,” he said.

Meridian Energy lodged resource consents for Mt Munro in 2011, and last year requested extra time before holding a hearing, announcing their intention to complete studies including bird monitoring in the area. Additional monitoring of water quality and cultural values assessments were also completed, according to a company statement.

The Waiwaka Landscape Protection Group, a community group challenging the consent, were upbeat about the project cancellation, saying Meridian had not dealt with negative noise and environmental issues.

Meridian said they will review the project if and when, market conditions improve.