MainPower, a lines company based in Canterbury, is planning a wind farm on Mt Cass, about six kilometres east of Waipara in North Canterbury.
The Hurunui District Council declined MainPower's application for resource consent in April 2009. MainPower has since appealed this decision to the Environment Court. In December 2011, the Environment Court approved the resource consent.
MainPower revised the proposal after Environment Court mediation, including the road and turbine layout, significantly reducing the amount of native vegetation and limestone pavement that needs to be cleared.
The consent application includes three options for turbines to be used at the site. Depending on the turbines chosen, the Mt Cass wind farm could have a capacity of between 33.5 and 78 MegaWatts of electricity – enough energy for up to 40% of North Canterbury's needs.
MainPower has had a consent variation to permit the use of larger more technically advanced wind turbines. The wind farm is proposing to use 22 GE4.2-117 that will increase capacity to 93MW with the turbine tip height increasing from 130m to 135m. Mt Cass will be the largest wind farm in the South Island and will power around 40,000 homes on an annual basis.
Project information on MainPower's website
Or the specific website MainPower has set up for Mt Cass
Resource consent application, planner's report, commissioners' decision and Environment Court decision on the Hurunui District Council website
To see where the wind farm would be sited, change the view to satellite and zoom in.