Mighty River Power announced that resource consents have been granted for a proposed 53 turbine wind farm on the Puketoi Range, 40 km south of Dannevirke. Mark Trigg, Mighty River Power’s General Manager Development, said the Company was pleased with the decision, which represented many years of hard work and community consultation, and reflected the quality of the resource at Puketoi and significant support for the project within the local area.
“We want to thank those local residents who took the time to engage in this process and express their views. The views of the community are important to us and we have worked to accommodate feedback where possible,” said Mr Trigg.
The resource consents include provision for a transmission line to link the Puketoi project to the National Grid. At full capacity, the proposed development could provide sufficient electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes. Mighty River Power has previously indicated that with New Zealand’s electricity demand currently back at 2008 levels consented projects are unlikely to come to the market in the short term. However, Mr Trigg said the decision provided the Company with a future development option for renewable generation in New Zealand at a site where the wind resource is of “exceptional quality”.
“Given the multi-year lead time to prepare opportunities and secure resource consents, we continue to take a long-term view, ensuring we are ready to commit to projects quickly as economic growth – and therefore electricity demand - recovers.
“Our immediate focus is on the completion of the Ngatamariki geothermal plant near Taupo, which we expect to be commissioned in mid-2013,” said Mr Trigg.