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Concern is mounting about the impact of several power transmission lines from new and planned wind farms in the south-west.
An appeal against the Waverley Wind Farm project has been withdrawn, leaving the project free to go ahead as planned.
Opponents, however, say common sense has prevailed. A representative from the Blueskin Amenity and Landscape Society, formed in opposition to the wind farm, has said it was time for the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust to say enough was enough.
A plan for a community-owned windmill near Dunedin has been rejected by the Environment Court. Blueskin Energy went to the court trying to save the pioneering project, after Dunedin City Council turned down resource consent.
"We've discontinued our relationship. There's a significant amount of money that needs to be expended on the turbines," said Brian Harris, chief executive of Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust, which oversees the power company Chatham Islands Electricity. Any proposal to get the turbines up and running again "needs to be cost-effective and reduce energy costs on the island".
An electricity transmission line cutting across their view of Mount Taranaki has united a group of Waverley residents in opposition.
Waverley and Patea people will soon find out whether 48 wind turbines are going to be built on coastal land there. South Taranaki District Council expects to make a decision on Waverley Wind Farm consents early next year, planning manager Blair Sutherland says.
Plans to build a wind farm in Dunedin have come to a halt after the project failed to fly. An application to build and operate a wind farm at Blueskin Bay in Dunedin was declined on Tuesday.
Opponents of a proposed $325 million wind farm in South Taranaki fear it will ruin views of the mountain, affect property prices and even disrupt migratory birds.
The hearing began with a blow to the BRCT as council planner Darryl Sycamore no longer recommended consent be approved. He said he was reserving his position until the end of the hearing, given the trust had made changes to the proposal.
Mighty River Power is still planning to develop the Turitea Wind Farm on Palmerston North's eastern skyline, but doubts have been raised about whether it will go ahead.
Proponents of a $400 million wind farm near Tarago have not consulted neighbouring landholders sufficiently, nor assessed visual and noise impacts of the proposed turbines, says the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Meridian Energy has been granted a five-year consent extension for its wind farm, Project Central Wind. ...But, after no construction since it was first granted Environment Court approval in 2010, this may be the last time the energy company is allowed to just "shunt" the project along.
But consent for the project will lapse later this month. For the extension to be granted, Meridian had to show it had made substantial progress or effort on the project, had approval from persons who might be adversely affected by its granting, and that it fitted with the objectives of Rangitikei's district plan.
Meridian Energy has been given a further 12 months to start work on a proposed wind farm between Taihape and Waiouru. The company received resource consent in February 2009 for a 52-turbine project called Central Wind. A condition of the consent was that the company had five years to start work on the project.
Speculation that plans to establish a wind farm near Moawhango will go ahead now that Meridian Energy has dropped plans for a wind farm in Central Otago have been quashed.
More than $300 million has been spent on wind farms in the past 18 months, and a dozen more projects – more than 200 megawatts of potential capacity – wait in the wings as turbine prices have fallen as much as 20 per cent in the past couple of years.
Operating and maintenance costs for wind farms using large turbines were up to 4 per cent of the project price, he said. Project West Wind cost $440 million, meaning the running costs would be over $17 million a year.
It has not committed to its next generation project in New Zealand. But it was likely to be one of two projects that have already gained consent, or another near to getting consent. Meridian has a consent for the 120MW Central Wind project, near Waiouru, and for a project in Hawke's Bay which could be up to 127MW.