Article

Meridian eyeing another 10 sites for windfarms

State-owned electricity generator Meridian Energy – which has just won a controversial resource consent for its Makara windfarm near Wellington – says it is eyeing another 10 windfarms.

"Apart from the Makara-project of 210 megawatt (MW), we have so far identified 10 other projects," company spokesman Alan Seay told Danish newsagency Direkt.

The $350 million Makara project, with 70 turbines, is currently the nation's biggest, but Mr Seay said that the 10 possible additional sites included the 1000 MW windfarm the company is planning on the Lammermoor Range west of Dunedin.

The Dunedin project would cost more than $2 billion and be the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere – generating more than Benmore hydro power station – if it went ahead.

Meridian already has three monitoring wind towers in the Lammermoor area.

The largest windfarm currently operating is at Te Apiti in the Manawatu. It was commissioned in November last year, has 55 turbines and produces 90 megawatts of electricity.

But Heather Staley, chief executive of the Government's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, said today that she hoped Makara would lead to many more renewable electricity generation projects.
"New Zealand has an exceptional wind resource and the opportunity is there to increase its use," she said in a statement.

Mr Seay spoke of the 10 new windfarm sites after announcing a Danish company, Vestas Wind... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

"Apart from the Makara-project of 210 megawatt (MW), we have so far identified 10 other projects," company spokesman Alan Seay told Danish newsagency Direkt.
 
The $350 million Makara project, with 70 turbines, is currently the nation's biggest, but Mr Seay said that the 10 possible additional sites included the 1000 MW windfarm the company is planning on the Lammermoor Range west of Dunedin.
 
The Dunedin project would cost more than $2 billion and be the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere – generating more than Benmore hydro power station – if it went ahead.
 
Meridian already has three monitoring wind towers in the Lammermoor area.
 
The largest windfarm currently operating is at Te Apiti in the Manawatu. It was commissioned in November last year, has 55 turbines and produces 90 megawatts of electricity.
 
But Heather Staley, chief executive of the Government's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, said today that she hoped Makara would lead to many more renewable electricity generation projects.
"New Zealand has an exceptional wind resource and the opportunity is there to increase its use," she said in a statement.
 
Mr Seay spoke of the 10 new windfarm sites after announcing a Danish company, Vestas Wind Systems AS, would be the preferred supplier of turbines to the Makara project.
 
According to Direkt, Meridian Energy has only ever bought wind-turbines from Vestas Wind Systems and NEG Micon, which is now part of the Vestas group.
 
Makara residents have said they will appeal the resource consent to the Environment Court, but Ms Staley said she felt their concerns might have been overstated.
 
The Council for Infrastructure Development, said the Makara windfarm, known as the West Wind power project, added an extensive number of proposals. It said that at current rates of demand growth, New Zealand needed at least 150 megawatts of additional power every year to meet expected electricity demand, so the Makara turbine represented only one year's growth in demand.


Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuf...

DEC 24 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/856-meridian-eyeing-another-10-sites-for-windfarms
back to top