22 Dec 2010

New geothermal plant approved

12:54 pm on 22 December 2010

A new geothermal power plant near Taupo, which will produce enough electricity to power almost 250,000 houses, has been granted resource consent.

Contact Energy's Tauhara Two project will collect hot geothermal water and steam from around Mount Tauhara and feed it to a 250 megawatt power station.

The application for the $1 billion project was sent directly to a Board of Inquiry, following changes to the Resource Management Act in 2009, allowing such projects to be fast-tracked.

Environment Minister Nick Smith says the consent approval is a timely decision which will help New Zealand achieve the goal of 90% renewable energy by 2025.