Mighty River Power announced today that resource consents have been granted for a proposed 53 wind turbined 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.
As per resource consent processes, the awarding of resource consents for the Puketoi Wind Farm is subject to an appeal period of 15 working days.
Mighty River Power is an integrated electricity generator and retailer, and New Zealand’s only large renewables-dominated energy company with both hydro and geothermal generation. Our core business is based on reliable, low fuel cost generation, complemented by electricity sales to businesses and homes through multiple retail brands.
The Company’s sales to major industrial and commercial users and through our retail brands, Mercury Energy, GLO-BUG, Bosco Connect and Tiny Mighty Power, account for about 18% of New Zealand’s total electricity consumption.
More than 90% of our generation is from renewable sources, with a substantial geothermal share, supported by a flexible gas-fired plant in Auckland. Mighty River Power is among the world’s top 10 owners of geothermal power stations commissioned over the past decade and is investing through GeoGlobal Energy in geothermal developments in the US, Chile and Germany.
Mighty River Power won Overall Energy Company of the Year and Project of the Year at the 2010 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards and in 2011 was named Energy Retailer of the Year (Mercury Energy).
Mighty River Power is currently a 100% State-owned Enterprise, operating as a Commercial Priority Company within the Crown’s portfolio.
Wind energy in New Zealand
1997: 4 MW
1998: 24 MW (+500 %)
1999: 35 MW (+45.9 %)
2000: 35 MW (- %)
2001: 35 MW (- %)
2002: 35 MW (- %)
2003: 36 MW (+2.9 %)
2004: 168 MW (+366.7 %)
2005: 168 MW (- %)
2006: 171 MW (+1.8 %)
2007: 322 MW (+88.4 %)
2008: 325 MW (+1 %)
2009: 497 MW (+53 %)
2010: 530 MW (+6.7 %)
2011: 622 MW (+17.4 %)