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NZ Windfarms consent row rages  

Credit:  Taranaki Daily News | September 15, 2014 | ~~

NZ Windfarms says it is still battling to get changes to consents for its North Island Te Rere Hau wind farm that has been the subject of noise complaints.

The NZX-listed wind turbine operator said Palmerston North City Council had not accepted an application for the council to clarify noise-related conditions in a land use consent for the Te Rere Hau wind farm. The 97-turbine operation is on the Tararua Range overlooking Palmerston North.

The company said the consent application, submitted on August 28, sought to clarify noise-related consent conditions for the wind farm.

The changes proposed by NZ Windfarms are designed to enable noise compliance to be assessed clearly and any necessary remedial actions to be identified, the company said.

Chief executive Chris Sadler said the company was considering how it would respond. ‘‘It wasn’t what we expected, therefore we haven’t had a chance yet to review it with legal advisers.’’

The Environment Court originally declared that the wind farm on the Tararua Range overlooking Palmerston North was producing noise levels that breached resource consent conditions.

The council had sought a declaration from the Environment Court as to whether Te Rere Hau was compliant.

NZ Windfarms appealed to the High Court, and although last year Justice Joe Williams upheld the appeal, he agreed the 65 Windflow-500 turbines were generating more noise than the original application estimated. The city council has received hundreds of noise complaints.

Sadler said NZ Windfarms would update the Environment Court later this year with noise measurements from recent monitoring of the turbines.

Te Rere Hau generated 122,556 megawatt hours of renewable electricity in the June 30 financial year, with revenue of $6.9 million, of which about 30 per cent is disbursed locally in wages and other operating costs.

Source:  Taranaki Daily News | September 15, 2014 |

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