Taupo geothermal power station approved

Last updated 14:42 22/12/2010

Relevant offers

Industries

ANZ Bank wins in Australian High Court bank fee case First look at David Jones department store in Wellington Valleygirl and Temt administrators search for supplier solutions Check out the world first 'un-meltable' ice cream Ryman Healthcare responds to staff pay gripes and increases directors fees Underwater glass lift proposed for Napier's National Aquarium After 15 years the wait is over for new Countdown Waiheke Tesla driver speeding in fatal Autopilot crash Mortgage lending hits record levels as national house prices soar Real estate agent with terminal cancer claims he was cut loose because of illness

Environment Minister Nick Smith is hailing the speed at which Contact Energy gained approval for a geothermal power station near Taupo, although the company is not saying when it will start building the project.

A board of inquiry led by Judge Gordon Whiting approved Contact's application to build the $1 billion Tauhara II 250-megawatt geothermal power station.

Today Dr Smith said it was the first project processed under the national consenting process of the reformed Resource Management Act.

It was the first time in 20 years a major project was granted consent in eight months. The average time prior to the reforms had been two years, with some projects taking as long as eight years.

"Long delays in getting consents for such renewable energy projects over the past decade came at a high economic and environmental cost," Dr Smith said.

"It meant delays in regions securing new jobs and the growth in electricity demand having to be met from old thermal power stations. These consenting delays contributed to New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector more than doubling in the last decade."

Construction and development of the station would involve 350 jobs during the 33-month construction period and be a welcome economic boost to Taupo and the Central North Island.

Contact said the development would go ahead "when market conditions allow

Ad Feedback

- NZPA

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content