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Environment Court Gives Green Light For Te Uku Wind Park

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Environment Court Gives Green Light For Te Uku Wind Park

26 November 2008 - The Environment Court has given the green light by issuing a consent order to allow the 28-turbine Te Uku wind farm to proceed. This follows successful mediation of the appeals.

Chief executive of WEL Networks, Dr Julian Elder, said that the feedback from the appellants was positive in relation to the mediation as it allowed them to more fully understand the project and to discuss and agree ways to mitigate their concerns.

The mitigations include the setting up of the Community Liaison Group to allow good communication between the project and the community including a robust procedure to deal with complaints, support to the local community, some localised visual mitigation and the relocation of Turbine 29. We are delighted to have resolved these appeals without the need for an Environment Court hearing, said Dr Elder.

This means that preliminary planning work will now get underway, with construction likely to start in October next year. The $200 million wind park is to be jointly built and operated by Hamilton-based WEL Networks and New Zealands largest generator of renewable electricity, Meridian Energy. Meridian will build and operate the wind park, at an estimated cost of $160 million.

WEL is to own and manage the electrical lines and sub-station linked to the wind park, and the high voltage line connecting the wind park to WEL Networks Te Kowhai point of supply at an estimated cost of around $40 million. The wind park will generate enough electricity to supply the annual needs of around 30,000 average homes.

Meanwhile, the Waikato District Council is about to publicly notify WEL Networks plans for a lines upgrade to service the greater Raglan area and the wind park as outlined in the wind park submissions. The upgrade will involve connecting WEL Networks point of supply at Te Kowhai to the substation at the wind park and into the Te Uku substation.

The power line will run across country from Te Kowhai to the Raglan deviation and then follow the existing line route to the wind park and through to Te Uku. Dr Elder said the notices of requirement is planned to be advertised by the district council shortly, with more detailed information being mailed by council to affected landowners.

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