Friday, May 27, 2011


Contact Energy has been granted resource consent for its planned Hauāuru mā raki windfarm. The site seems to be north of the Rotowaro-Huntly grid constraint (meaning it is well-placed to ensure clean security of supply to Auckland), and at 504MW, it will be the biggest windfarm in New Zealand - if it is ever built:

it unlikely to see development start in a hurry, with Contact's former managing director David Baldwin indicating in February that construction could be some years away while the company develops more cost-efficient geothermal options.
The problem is that if they wait too long, they may be crowded out by Genesis Energy's Rodney Power Station, which is also consented but on hold. We have a clear choice here, between a clean future and a dirty one. With our current problems, our regulatory framework should be pushing us towards the clean choice. Instead, thanks to national's repeal of the thermal ban, we may well end up going down the dirty path, which will cost us and the planet in the long run.