The 45-metre tall Brooklyn Wind Turbine in Wellington is being replaced with a new version which will tower 77 metres into the sky.
Meridian Energy was granted resource consent to replace the existing 21-year-old turbine which has reached the end of its practical operating life.
Construction is planned for next year and will take about 10 weeks, at a cost of $2.5 million to $3m.
A resource consent hearing was held in May and resource consent for a new turbine was approved late last month.
A three-week period followed to allow for any appeals to the Environment Court but none were received, meaning Meridian can now proceed with the project.
Meridian General Manager of External Relations Guy Waipara says getting resource consent was good news.
''The current turbine has become iconic. It is part of the cityscape and is valued by the local community and the wider Wellington region.''
He said the importance of the turbine was highlighted in 2009 when it was out of service due to mechanical issues.
''A public campaign asking people whether they wanted to repair, replace or get rid of the turbine, showed 85 per cent wanted to repair or replace it.''
Waipara said the increase in the size of a new turbine takes in to account that modern turbines have generally increased in both size and generation capability since the original Brooklyn Wind Turbine was introduced.
The current turbine produces about 870 megawatt hours a year. The new turbine would generate around 3900 megawatt hours a year - enough to power around 490 average New Zealand homes.
The original Brooklyn Wind Turbine was installed for research purposes but Waipara said any replacement turbine would need to have a commercial return.
''In the last 20 years turbine technology has developed significantly and there are now different designs available that are more efficient and generally bigger.''
A new turbine would sound different to the old one but the sound levels would be the same and still within the New Zealand noise standard recommended levels, he said.
- The Dominion Post
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