Trustpower plans to build new windfarm in New Zealand

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Monday, January 9, 2006

New Zealand electricity generator and retailer TrustPower said today that it is considering a wind farm development at Lake Mahinerangi, south of Dunedin, in the lower South Island of New Zealand. In a development which could be worth up to NZ$500 million (US$347 million), to the Otago region according to TrustPower chief executive, Keith Tempest.

TrustPower said in a statement that the 300 megawatts wind farm, built in three 100 megawatts installments, could eventually provide enough electricity to power 150,000 homes and that it will be a world class installation that will guarantee security of electricity for the region.

According to Tempest "A windfarm development at Mahinerangi would enable us to better utilise the hydro storage available behind our Waipori scheme," Lake Mahinerangi is also the site of TrustPower's largest hydro lake.

TrustPower expects to apply for environmental consents under Resource Management Act later in the year if engineering reports prove the site satisfactory.

Wind towers at Tehachapi Pass, California
Cooling towers at Cattenom for comparison

After the announcement TrustPower’s shares remained unchanged at NZ$6.16. (US$4.26)

Currently the largest windfarm in New Zealand is operating at Te Apiti in the Manawatu; producing 90 megawatts of electricity. NZ Power companies are seeking to have resource consent procedures simplified for smaller-scale windfarms.