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Mahinerangi Wind Farm

rainbow arching over turbines and sheep at Mahinerangi wind farmTrustPower commissioned its Mahinerangi wind farm, 70 km west of Dunedin, in March 2011.

Mahinerangi is Otago's second wind farm. It has 12 turbines with a generating capacity of 36 megawatts. Construction and commissioning of the wind farm took about seven months.The 12 turbines were delivered to the site in 96 truck loads, with the last load delivered to site at the end of February 2011.

The turbines stand 125 metres tall – their blades are 44 metres long and the tower is 80 metres high. The total weight of the turbines is about 240,000 kilograms.

Radio transmitters are being used to monitor the movements of New Zealand falcons at the wind farm. Five pairs have been identified within 5 kilometres of the site, but no nests have been found within the wind farm. Data collected now will be compared to data collected over the past three years to determine what effect the wind farm has on the threatened species. The work should help inform the assessment of effects on falcons at other proposed wind farm sites.

Mahinerangi generates about 105 gigawatt-hours per year, which is enough power to supply approximately 13,000 Dunedin homes. The wind farm will feed electricity into the local electricity lines network though the nearby Waipori hydro scheme. According to TrustPower, "When the wind is blowing TrustPower will be able to conserve water for use when the wind is not blowing. When hydro storage and wind conditions are both plentiful the scheme will provide excellent peaking capacity."

The synergy between these two generating schemes illustrates at a regional level what will be achieved on a national scale as wind energy is developed and operated in combination with existing hydro generation.

Clutha District Council granted consent for the wind farm in October 2007. Appeals to the project were heard in the middle of 2008, and the Environment Court confirmed the consent in December 2008.

TrustPower has consent for up to 200MW at the site, but it has not announced plans to proceed with any further development at the site.

Key facts

Operator: TrustPower
Commissioned: March 2011
Number of turbines: 12
Turbine capacity: 3 megawatts
Wind farm installed capacity: 36 megawatts
Blade length: 45 metres
Tower height: 80 metres
Total height: 125 metres

More information

About Mahinerangi wind farm on TrustPower's website

Location

To see the wind turbine, change the view to satellite and zoom in.