Articles from New Zealand
On this day 25 years ago, New Zealand’s first wind farm started generating electricity. Over the next 14 years, we’ll need to open roughly one new wind farm each year to cut our carbon footprint – yet Olivia Wannan finds progress is patchy.
‘‘The principle is that the quality of a surf break isn’t degraded by any development or anything else, so obviously one of the key factors involved in the quality of a surf break is the amount of swell that reaches it.’’ Williamson said that had direct implications for anyone planning to build offshore wind farms.
The delay comes after iwi raised concerns about the proposal and are in discussions with Kaimai Windfarm Ltd, Hauraki District Council said in a statement. The company lodged resource consent applications with the council and Waikato Regional Council in July last year.
Selling a windfarm plan to a local community is always tough but Hauraki people are giving promoters of a major windfarm on the Kaimai Ranges a gruelling run for their money.
Council planning and environmental services manager Peter Thom said DOC's submission concerned the potential effects of the wind farm on threatened indigenous species and other biodiversity. One of those species is the threatened long-tailed bat, which DOC's submission says may be at risk of colliding with the turbines, or losing feeding and breeding habitat through the wind farm.
Kaimai Wind Farm Ltd lodged resource consent applications with Hauraki District Council and the Waikato Regional Council to establish and operate 24 wind turbines on the northwestern side of the Kaimai Ranges. However, nearly three-quarters of those who submitted to the district council were opposed to the idea.
Submissions are now closed on Kaimai Windfarm Ltd’s proposed wind farm project. Overall Hauraki District Council received 220 submissions on the proposal, of which 57 were in support and 157 were opposed to the idea.
A consent application has been filed for a 24-turbine wind farm proposed for the northern end of the Kaimai Ranges. The turbines would be at Tirohia, near Paeroa, and the largest would be 207 metres high - with the blade tip standing upright. The country's next biggest are those at Te Uku, which stand 130m tall to the tip.
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An appeal against the Waverley Wind Farm project has been withdrawn, leaving the project free to go ahead as planned.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.
Opponents of a wind farm near Blueskin Bay say ''common sense has prevailed'' with the Environment Court decision on Monday but the ruling comes too late for one former resident who moved away in protest.
Huffman told commissioners the problems were worst when wind speeds were low, particularly between 6 metres per second and 10m per second. She backed the city council's position, that there should be an 8m per second threshold before the turbines kick in at night. She also said subjective assessment was a legitimate way to monitor noise.
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.
The council and many residents living close to the proposed turbine site say the adverse effects on the nearest neighbours’ enjoyment of their properties were so significant the proposal should not proceed. Many of the concerns related to anticipated noise from the wind farm, despite the number of turbines having been reduced from three 90m structures to one 110m tall turbine. The likely harm to birdlife from the huge blades was also of concern.
Since a year ago, when independent commissioner Colin Weatherall refused consent for Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust’s planned three turbine wind farm, the number of turbines proposed has been reduced from three 90m tall structures to one 110m high turbine. Mr Weatherall said his decision was ‘‘significantly influenced’’ by the adverse effect the wind farm would have on the amenity and character of properties in Pryde Rd.
City council chief executive Paddy Clifford said in his notice of review that noise from Te Rere Hau needed to be better managed and monitored. He said there were inaccuracies in evidence given about the acoustic effects of the wind turbines at the original consent hearing, with the effects turning out to be far greater than had been predicted.
New planning rules for almost all of Palmerston North that lies outside the urban area have attracted more than a dozen appeals. The bulk of the 16 challenges, made the to Environment Court, focus on rules for wind farms.