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Huge road improvements needed to access Turitea wind farm  

Credit:  Janine Rankin | Manawatu Standard | May 09 2022 | www.stuff.co.nz ~~

A Palmerston North track at the top of the Turitea Reserve is being transformed into a road capable of carrying trucks towing 55-metre-long turbine blades.

Mercury’s contractors are building the route to the southern, 27-turbine section of its Turitea wind farm on the Tararua Ranges.

While early construction traffic is using winding Kahuterawa and Greens roads to access the site, the tower components and blades need a different route from the north.

Project manager Glen Twining told a community liaison group the extensive roadworks were complete, and work would continue to install permanent drainage.

The risk of erosion had demanded careful engineering and diversion of clean water away from the works.

When finished, the area would be stabilised with hydro-seed and re-vegetated in accordance with the rehabilitation plan, as part of complying with resource management consent conditions.

The images of the site provided were taken between the locations for turbines 36 and 37, in the south of the Turitea Reserve.

They showed the most extensive part of the improvements project.

Mercury environmental compliance manager Mark Henry said the idea of increased use of Kahuterawa and Greens roads to gain additional access to the site from the south had been explored and abandoned.

In the southern section, foundations had been excavated for 20 of the 27 turbine towers.

A concrete batch plant had been set up and had begun production, and a second would be established, so concrete would not have to be carted in to the site.

The $456 million wind farm contributes to making Mercury New Zealand’s largest wind energy generator, and when completed, is tipped to be New Zealand’s largest wind farm.

It was expected to generate 840GWh each year, enough to power 120,000 homes or 375,000 electric vehicles.

The 33-turbine northern section began generating in December.

In its first month it had generated 5% above expectations, but low wind speeds in January, February and March had seen performance dip 5% below forecast.

Source:  Janine Rankin | Manawatu Standard | May 09 2022 | www.stuff.co.nz

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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