The wind farm would be based on Long Gully station, to the west of Brooklyn and south of Karori, and use New Zealand made Windflow 500 wind turbines, each about the same size as but with twice the wind power output of the nearby iconic Brooklyn wind turbine. The wind farm would provide electricity for up to 6000 homes and avoid approximately 29,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
“We appreciate the local community’s involvement in the process so far,” said Ms Patrick. “and we will continue to engage with them as we plan the next steps and firm up a timeline for development of the site.”
Windflow Technology Chief Operating Officer Tom Hooper said “This wind energy development is an important step for Windflow, being our first distributed generation project in conjunction with Mighty River Power and the decision to grant a consent is excellent news for Windflow”.
Windflow Technology submitted the application to the Wellington City Council in May, and submissions closed in June. There were some 74 submissions on the proposal, with 38 in support, 28 opposing and eight with a neutral stance. The hearing took place over seven days in August.
The decision is subject to any appeals that may be lodged in the Environment Court. State owned electricity generator/retailer Mighty River Power would own and operate the wind farm once it was built.
Community Wind Farm Proposed for Wellington
“A citizens’ initiative for a community wind farm in Long Gully is inviting wider public participation this month, at an open meeting planned for Friday 19th November in Wellington at Crossways Community Centre, Mt Victoria,” said Regional Councillor Paul Bruce.
Cr Bruce said that community wind power plants have several major advantages over large commercial wind farms: they are smaller in size and number and can be community owned rather than externally imposed.
“We think this provides a great opportunity to local citizens to make a small ethical investment in renewable energy and obtain credit for clean power generation, all without having to have a suitable site themselves.”
There are similar community wind farm projects currently at the planning or discussion stage, in the Waitati – Blueskin Bay district near Dunedin, and in Otaki, where there is a community board initiative. The Mill Creek wind farm proposal in Ohariu also come out of approach from local farmers.
Cr Bruce said that the Long Gully wind farm project has a resource consent, held by Wind Flow Technologies, which has now been lodged with the Wellington City Council. A contract is at present being negotiated with an electricity supplier to purchase the electricity generated. “The next steps will be to set up a suitable banking and investment structure for the purchase and the erection of the wind turbines,” he concluded.
Interested members of the public are invited to come to the November 19th meeting which will be held at 6 pm at Crossways Community Centre, 6 Roxborough St, Mt Victoria, Wellington.