New Zealand Wind Farm to Power 70,000 Homes

The following news of final approval of a wind farm development in the North Island of Aotearoa/ NZ comes from Fast Company.

New Zealand Wind Farm to Power 70,000 Homes

Image: Fast Company

After a $150,000 legal battle, the New Zealand group Contact Energy has won clearance to build a $400 million dollar wind farm in New Zealand’s Puketoi Range to power 70,000 homes.

(Contact also has a number of operational geothermal power stations).

The proposed wind farm went through significant opposition from local residents and the Waitahora-Puketoi Guardians, who were concerned about the farm altering the landscape.

Contact’s proposal was initially rejected by the country’s Environment Court last year, but the new proposal saw a significant scaling back of turbines and positioning that would make the remaining turbines more aesthetically tolerable. And the fact that the proposed location would spare extensive damage to local water supply and native vegetation also helped secure clearance.

New Zealand’s 12 current wind farms generate about 4% of the country’s electricity. The new wind farm is expected to be completed within 5 years.

Author: Jenara Nerenberg

The company says that “Contact has significantly refined the project to further reduce environmental effects and address many of the concerns of the local residents. For example, there will be significantly less traffic on some roads and the visual and amenity effects have been reduced by removing several turbines”.

The Wikipedia item for this windfarm has extra detail on the approvals process for this project.

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