29 Nov 2009

Meridian to appeal against Otago wind-farm ruling

6:37 am on 29 November 2009

State-owned power company Meridian Energy plans to appeal against an Environment Court decision that blocked its resource consent for building a wind farm in Central Otago.

Consent for the project was granted two years ago but overturned earlier this month.

The Environment Court ruled that there were many alternatives to the proposed site and that Meridian Energy had not produced enough information about them.

A company spokesperson, Alan Seay, says the decision raises the bar too high, making it almost impossible to gain resource consent for any infrastructure project.

"It sets a whole new test, really, that requires us to present evidence of other potential projects - whether they're definite projects, whether they're potential projects - and that's really an impossible amount of work to have to do and makes the whole process very unwieldy and impossible to navigate."

Mr Seay says the court's decision will stifle planning and block developments which he says New Zealand needs.