The Environment Court confirmed the resource consent for Meridian Energy' Project Central Wind on 27 January 2010.
The proposed wind farm was originally granted resource consent in February 2009 by the Ruapehu and Rangitikei District Councils and Horizons Regional Council. This consent was appealed to the Environment Court, and a hearing was held in September 2009.
In confirming consent, the Court recognised the benefits of renewable energy, commenting the move to renewable energy and resulting reduction of greenhouse gas emissions would enhance the quality of the environment and "safe guard the life supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems, all of which might potentially be affected by climate change." The Court also noted that renewable generation "will occur where the natural and physical resources which enable that generation are situated and where the proposal is commercially viable".
The proposed wind farm is located between Waiouru and Taihape in the Central North Island. It could have up to 52 turbines, with a total capacity of 130 megawatts. On an annual basis it could generate as much electricity as used by 50,000 average homes. The wind farm is expected to generate electricity for 90% of the time, and have a capacity factor of 36%.
Meridian has not yet announced plans to proceed to construction.
Project information and resource consent application on Meridian Energy's website
To see where the wind farm would be sited, change the view to satellite and zoom in.