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Contact investigating Waitahora wind farm project

Published: Mon 21 Jul 2008 03:21 PM
Contact investigating Waitahora wind farm project
Contact Energy today said it was investigating a new wind farm project on the remote Puketoi Range near Dannevirke in Southern Hawke’s Bay.
The proposed Waitahora wind farm would be up to 177 megawatts in size and would cost around $500 million to develop. The project would involve up to 65 individual turbines and generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power up to 86,000 homes.
Contact Energy Chief Executive, David Baldwin, said Contact had been developing the proposal for around a year and had signed a land use agreement with a private land owner to allow the development of the wind farm.
“The site has a very strong wind resource and has the potential to support a world-class wind farm. The site is an isolated working landscape comprising mainly pastoral farmland, which helps to ensure any visual and environmental impacts of the project can be minimised,” he said.
Mr Baldwin said the company was now talking with landowners in the area about the project, and was pleased with the level of support for the project.
The company would continue to consult with the surrounding community and was expecting to file a resource consent application for the project in the second half of 2008.
“This is an important project for New Zealand in that it is located in the North Island, closer to electricity demand centres, and harnesses a very strong wind resource. Waitahora will be a large infrastructure project for the area and will lead to economic benefits for the surrounding communities during construction and ongoing operations.”
Mr Baldwin said the wind farm would take roughly two years to build and Contact planned to have the project generating electricity in 2013.
People wishing to speak with Contact about the project should call 0800 000 458 or visit www.contactenergy.co.nz/waitahorawind.co.nz.
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