Thumbs-up for Long Gully windfarm

Last updated 13:07 12/10/2009
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Christchurch-based Windflow Technology Ltd is a step closer to securing a second buyer for its pioneering two-bladed turbines with approval of a resource consent for the Long Gully windfarm proposal behind Wellington.

MightyRiverPower, which recently took a 20 percent share in Windflow, would own and operate the 25 turbine, 12.5 Megawatt project, using Windflow 500 turbines, for which the Wellington City Council has now granted consent after relatively straightforward hearings.

"This development is an important step for Windflow, being our first distributed generation project in conjunction with MRP," said Windflow Technology Chief Operating Officer Tom Hooper.

Windflow Technology submitted the application to the Wellington City Council in May, and submissions closed in June. There were some 74 submissions on the proposal, with 38 in support, 28 opposing and eight with a neutral stance. The hearing took place over seven days in August.

The decision is subject to any appeals that may be lodged in the Environment Court.

Windflow is in dispute with its only other customer, New Zealand Windfarms Ltd, over international certification of the latest version of the Windflow 500, with Windfarms warning it will not make payments for turbines already installed or on payments until receiving an independent report on the implications of the non-certification, which Windflow says its expects to receive without difficulty.

Windfarms has also warned that it may not be a going concern, owing in part to tough trading conditions for windfarms, many of which are struggling to cover their operating costs at recent prevailing wholesale electricity prices, let along provide commercial returns.

MRP is not expected to decide quickly to build the Long Gully project.





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