1 Sep 2008

Contact seeks consent for Hawke's Bay windfarm

4:15 pm on 1 September 2008

New Zealand's largest energy company has applied for resource consent to build a 177-megawatt wind farm near Waitahora, southeast of Dannevirke.

The Contact Energy project would include up to 65 turbines and be located on part of the Puketoi Ranges in southern Hawke's Bay.

It would generate enough renewable electricity to power about 86,000 houses a year. Contact Energy says the site is ideal for a wind farm and is very remote.

Last week Contact announced another windfarm project three times larger for the Waikato coastline between Port Waikato and Raglan.

The Government will fast track the scheme through a process known as calling in. This will replace resource consent hearings involving three local councils, which the Government feared could be cumbersome.

Instead, resource consent issues will be decided by a board of inquiry and can be appealed only on points of law.