These sites have been through a public resource consent process and have been given approval for construction.
The Hurunui site is located in North Canterbury, approximately 60km north of Christchurch. The wind farm would generate up to 70 megawatts, producing enough electricity each year for about 32,000 average New Zealand homes.
In April 2013, the Environment Court granted Meridian resource consent for the proposed wind farm, and following a period of negotiations, a final set of conditions was issued in November 2013. The consent has a 10 year lapse date.
There are currently no plans to construct this project as low demand growth for electricity means fewer new generation projects will be required in the short to medium term. As such, the decision to construct the wind farm will be determined by market conditions and on the basis that the business case for the project meets our investment requirements.
The Central Wind site is located in the North Island, between Waiouru and Taihape.
The wind farm would generate up to a maximum of approximately 130 megawatts, producing enough electricity each year for about 50,000 average New Zealand homes.
In 2010 Environment Court approval for the project was secured, and in 2015 a five year extension to the consent lapsing date was approved. Low demand growth of electricity in New Zealand has meant that construction of this project has not yet taken place. However, work continues to ensure this project remains a viable option for Meridian to proceed with in the future, when market conditions are right.
The Maungaharuru site is located on the Maungaharuru Range (Hawke’s Bay) approximately 35km northwest of Napier.
The site actually consists of two adjacent wind farm sites (Hawkes Bay Wind Farm and Titiokura Wind Farm) that were consented separately, receiving Environment Court approval in 2006. Meridian acquired the rights to the two wind farms in 2010 and a significant amount of time has been spent determining an optimal layout for the sites in regard to the type of wind turbines currently available on the market.
Variations to the original consents have been necessary to obtain approval for the layout changes, which will significantly reduce the environmental effects of the project through a reduction in the number of wind turbines and the extent of civil works.
In 2015 Meridian were successful in obtaining extensions to the consent lapse dates, which now expire in 2023. At this stage the final wind farm configuration on the two consented sites has not yet been confirmed, but the total energy output is likely to be approximately 120 - 140MW.
The Pukaki Hydro project is a hydroelectricity power station that would be located at the southern end of Lake Pukaki in the Mackenzie District.
The project promotes the efficient use of potential energy that is otherwise lost when water flows from Lake Pukaki through the ‘Gate 18’ control gates and into the Pukaki Canal (whereupon it flows to the Ohau A power station). The hydro station would generate up to 35 megawatts, producing enough electricity each year for about 10,000 average New Zealand homes.
Resource consents were granted in June 2011 with a 10 year lapse period. At this stage there is no planned construction date for the project – the timing depends on future demand for electricity.
These sites have not been through a resource consent process and are at an early stage of investigation.
The Pouto site is in the Northland region, situated approximately 30km south of Dargaville.
Wind monitoring and a number of studies have been undertaken at this site since 2007 and this has defined the potential size and environmental effects of the project.
At this stage, the likely project size is approximately 100MW. In addition to the wind farm itself, a 42km transmission line is necessary to connect the wind farm to the Transpower national grid. Investigations into the line design and line route have been undertaken and negotiations to secure the easements for the line route were in progress, but a decision was made in 2013 to cease this work due to the uncertainty regarding when the wind farm might be constructed – which is dependent on electricity demand.
A consent for this project has not yet been sought.
The Mt Munro site is in the northern Wairarapa region, approximately 5km south of Eketahuna.
Wind monitoring has been undertaken on this site since late 2009 and the studies to identify and quantify the potential effects on the environment have also been completed. The wind farm would have a maximum output of 60-70 megawatts and connect to a nearby national grid transmission line. Resource consents for this project have not yet been secured.