31 Jan 2009

Wind farms cost more as NZ dollar falls

6:20 am on 31 January 2009

The falling New Zealand dollar is making it harder to fund projects such as renewable energy schemes.

Trustpower has obtained consent to build a 200 megawatt windfarm at Mahinerangi, inland from Dunedin.

But chief executive Keith Tempest says most components for wind turbines are imported.

He says the New Zealand dollar has fallen from more than 80 US cents to the US dollar to a little over 50 US cents.

This makes building a windfarm around 50% more expensive than it would have been a year ago.

Mr Tempest cannot put a date on when construction would begin, but says it could be undertaken in small stages.