In November 2007, Trustpower submitted an application for resource consent to the Gore District Council and Environment Southland for a wind farm 15 kilometres southeast of Gore in the Southland region. The wind farm would have up to 83 turbines and an installed capacity of up to 240 megawatts.
The Councils granted consent to the project in June 2008, following a public submissions and hearing process. This decision was appealed to the Environment Court. Trustpower and Gore District Council have reached an agreement regarding Trustpower's appeal of the development levy, membership of the community consultation group, and shadow flicker conditions. Upland Landscape Protection Society withdrew their appeal in February 2009.
In 2016 Trustpower received final court approval for the demerger and listing of its Australian and New Zealand wind businesses. Mercury Energy is now responsible for the wind farms consent following their acquisition of Tilt Renewables NZ wind farms.
Commencement of construction
On the 13 September 2022 Mercury confirmed that it had executed contracts for the procurement and construction of the first stage of the Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm. The 43MW wind farm will cost $115m and comprise 10 Vestas supplied turbines which will add enough renewable power to power over 20,000 homes or run 66,000 EV’s.
Each turbine has a capacity of 4.3 MW (136m rotor, 77m tower, 145m tip height) and Vestas will maintain the wind farm under a 30-year agreement.
Mobilisation commenced in October 2022 and the full construction is expected to take around one year.
Mercury advised a second tranche of the build will complete the 240MW that has been consented on the site as the transition to a lower carbon economy progresses.
For more information on Kaiwera Downs and Mercury’s other wind farms: See Mercury website here
The wind farm is located south of Gore.