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Genesis Energy expands Castle Hill wind project

Tuesday 27th July 2010 2 Comments

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State-owned electricity company Genesis Energy is proposing a massive 600 Megawatt windfarm development at its northern Wairarapa site, Castle Hill.

Chief executive Albert Brantley announced today the expansion of previous proposals for Castle Hill from 400MW to 600MW, representing a further substantial increase in installed or planned wind farm construction along the ranges separating the Kapiti-Horowhenua and Wairarapa regions, and into southern Hawke's Bay. 

The expansion also puts the development in the same league as Meridian's troubled 630MW Project Hayes proposal in Central Otago and Contact Energy's proposed 540MW Hauauru ma raki wind farm on the coast north of Raglan.

However, Castle Hill would likely be built in stages, says Brantley, noting that Genesis has plans only for 300MW of new wind capacity at unspecified sites by 2015.

Castle Hill is  north-east of Masterton and east of Eketahuna. Genesis has signed land use agreements with 27 owners of 30,000 hectares, with around 4,000ha suitable for wind farm development.

The site lies across four regional government boundaries and will require consents from Horizons and Greater Wellington Regional Councils, and the Tararua and Masterton District Council.

A resource consent application is expected to be lodged before mid 2011, following local community consultation.

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Comments from our readers

On 28 July 2010 at 8:15 am Bill Sutton said:
I can't wait for the sudden discovery of 'outstanding landscape values' from any ex-All Blacks and artists who happen to live in the Wairarapa. Not to mention 'wahi tapu' of huge cultural significance that somehow never got recorded previously. Genesis will need a very big cheque book to buy them all off!
On 28 July 2010 at 9:02 am ELB said:
Haven't these daft idiots seen Transpower's admissions that in times of high power demand over the past several winters, NZ's windfarms have operated at little more than 1% of their nominal capacity, demonstrating that (a) they are useless and (b) what an incredible waste of taxpayer's money for a trivial amount of electricity they are. Are Genesis turning out to be as crazy as Meridian?
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