3 Jun 2010

New geothermal plant approved

6:54 pm on 3 June 2010

Waikato Regional Council has approved the building of a second geothermal power plant on tribal land at Taupo.

The joint venture again brings together Tauhara North No 2 and Mighty River Power, which opened the 140 megawatt Nga Awa Purua plant last month.

Waatea News reports the new plant at Rotokawa will tap into the Tamariki field just north of Taupo, beside the highway to Rotorua.

The land is owned by a trust representing almost 800 Ngati Tahu beneficiaries.

Trustee Aroha Campbell says the venture will provide jobs and training as well as sustainable income for the trust and its beneficiaries.

She says Ngati Tahu has at least one more geothermal property suitable for generation, but a third project would be a long way off.

If no appeals are lodged, ground for the project should be broken by the end of the year.

Ms Campbell also says the trust is happy to share its experience with other Maori landowners who want to develop their geothermal power resources.