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New Zealand gives green light to NZ$200m wind park

26 Nov 2008

The New Zealand Environment Court has given the green light for the NZ$200m Te Uku wind park to proceed. The 28 turbine wind park is to be jointly built and operated by Hamilton-based electricity distribution company WEL Networks and New Zealand renewable electricity generator Meridian Energy.

Construction is likely to start in October next year, the company said.

Chief executive of WEL Networks, Dr Julian Elder, said that the feedback from the appellants was positive in relation to the mediation as it allowed them to more fully understand the project and to discuss and agree ways to mitigate their concerns.

‘We are delighted to have resolved these appeals without the need for an Environment Court hearing,’ said Dr Elder.

Meridian will build and operate the wind park, at an estimated cost of NZ$160m.

WEL is to own and manage the electrical lines and sub-station linked to the wind park, and the high voltage line connecting the wind park to WEL Network’s Te Kowhai point of supply at an estimated cost of around $40m.

The wind park will generate enough electricity to supply the annual needs of around 30,000 average homes, according to a statement.

WEL has also implemented GE smart grid technology.
GE’s outage management software will help WEL reduce outages and more quickly restore power when outages do occur, the company said.

‘Power reliability and quality are two key factors behind our decision to implement GE’s distribution management system (DMS),’ said Dr Elder. ‘GE’s DMS system also will help us integrate renewables, which will help reduce New Zealand’s overall carbon emissions and provide more secure levels of supply on a regional basis.’
This project supports the New Zealand government’s goal of carbon neutrality and generating 90 per cent renewable electricity by 2025, from 70 percent today.

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