Mill Creek wind farm

Mill Creek wind farm is located northwest of Wellington near Ohariu Valley.

The 26 turbines  generate up to 59.8 megawatts of electricity, producing enough electricity each year for about 30,000 average New Zealand homes.

The Mill Creek wind farm is located on privately-owned farms in Ohariu Valley. The landowners chose wind farming because it will preserve the environment, lifestyle and rural character of the areas better than other development options such as a major housing subdivision or forestry. They selected Meridian to develop and operate the wind farm because of our experience with developing wind energy in New Zealand.

Mill Creek is largely hidden from Wellington’s urban area, but visible from high points in the city’s green belt.

Executive summary for Mill Creek noise assessment (PDF 211KB)

Site map (PDF 748KB)

 

Why build a wind farm here?

The Mill Creek wind farm has all the features we look for in a wind farm, mainly its consistently strong wind. The wind conditions at Mill Creek mean the turbines are expected to generate electricity 90% of the time.

The construction of the 26 turbines on the hills required approximately 800,000 cubic metres of earthworks and the construction of 19 kilometres of access tracks within the site.

Consent documents

In applying for resource consent for Mill Creek, Meridian assessed the environmental and cultural impacts of a wind farm in Ohariu Valley. The Environment Court ruled that with certain mitigations to reduce some effects, the project would be acceptable.

The Mill Creek Resource Consent contains many conditions to ensure the wind farm’s effects are kept to an acceptable level. You can find more information about this in the Consent Document archive.

Community Liaison Group

Meridian’s resource consent requirements included establishing a Community Liaison Group (CLG). Led by an independent chairperson, the CLG provided a forum for exchanging information and addressing community concerns during the construction of the Mill Creek wind farm. This group no longer meets, as the construction is complete. You can read the minutes of the meetings. If you would like more information about the construction or operation of Mill Creek wind farm, call 0800 500 305 or email community@meridianenergy.co.nz.

Key dates

  • Mar 2008
    Meridian applies for resource consent
  • Aug 2011
    Resource consent approved by the Environment Court
  • Sept 2012
    Construction begins
  • Nov 2014
    Mill Creek fully operational

Mill Creek showcased on Country Calendar

Farmer Gavin Bruce and his Ohariu colleagues used to curse the wind that lashes their beef and sheep farms. Then they hit on turning their biggest liability into a great resource. These days, Meridian is sharing their farms. Twenty-six wind turbines generate enough power for around 30,000 Wellington homes.

Ohariu Valley is minutes from downtown Wellington. The four 'wind farmers' told their story on TV1's Country Calendar. They say that 20 years ago an engineer who lived in the valley thought the spot would be ideal. The farmers realised they had to diversify to keep their farms viable, following a string of droughts. Wind farming was the winner. It has given them the security of a long-term future.

Watch now at TVNZ Ondemand

 

First turbine concrete placement pasture prepared for cropping in the background Peter Gibson