Te Uku wind farm project goes to Meridian Energy

Meridian Energy Limited’s Te Uku wind farm project has won Environment Waikato’s inaugural earthworks site of the year award.

Project Te Uku is a 28 turbine wind farm proposal to be built on private land on the Wharauroa Plateau, approximately 30 km west of Hamilton, and south-east and inland of Raglan.

Project Te Uku represents an alliance between two organisations with strong beliefs and experience in supporting community initiatives and a commitment to running their businesses in ways that improve the lives of New Zealanders while providing the electricity to the Waikato, first, and then the rest of the country.

The wind farm will generate 64.4 megawatts, enough power to provide the average annual needs of around 30,000 homes and to displace 145,000 tonnes annually of carbon dixoide emissions from electricity that would otherwise be produced by fossil fuels.

The 28 wind turbines construction project involves building 26 kilometres of roads on 55 square kilometres of private farm land near Raglan.

The award – designed to highlight and promote high quality, environmentally sensitive earthworks projects – was won by Meridian for 2009-10 due to the wind power project’s very high standard of erosion and sediment control.

EW’s land and soil programme manager Grant Blackie said the award to Meridian was an acknowledgement of the “tremendous compliance with consent conditions that had been achieved throughout the construction process so far”.

Mr Blackie said EW recognised Meridian’s contractors at Te Uku had contributed to the high level of compliance for the site.

“Besides Meridian receiving a site of the year certificate, we have also presented a certificate to Hick Bros Civil Construction Limited and Spartan Construction Limited.

“We congratulate all parties who have been involved in making this site a success and look forward to working with them as we monitor compliance as the project is completed.

“It is heartening to see such a large wind energy project being undertaken in a way that takes such careful account of the need to protect the environment,” Mr Blackie said.