Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More wind

Contact Energy is planning a 177 MW wind farm in the Puketoi Range near Dannevirke. And they seem to have learned some important lessons from earlier projects - choosing a remote area and getting local landowners on side to ensure an easier resource consent process. They expect to apply for resource consent by the end of the year, and to have finished construction within five years.

(Remember that construction timetable. Now look at the Wind Energy Association's (incomplete) list of projects in New Zealand. Even allowing for severe delays, we are looking at an explosion in wind power over the next decade, and the projects on that list alone should be enough to see us reach a target of 90% renewable electricity generation).

Meanwhile, Mighty River is about to apply for consent for its planned windfarm in the Turitea Reserve near Palmerston North. I've posted on this in the past, objecting to the idea of digging up a reserve for anything, and to the corrupt dealings between Mighty River and the PNCC which has seen the latter - which remember will be responsible for granting any resource consent - awarded "progress payments" for advancing the project, something which smacks of the outright purchase of local government. The good news is that half the turbines will be on private land, and I have no objection to those at all. The bad news is that half won't, so I'll be objecting against it.