Brooklyn residents fight for wind farm

23:24, Aug 06 2012
Paul Bruce
SMALLER FARM: "We are thinking of starting off with one or two turbines," says regional councillor Paul Bruce.

Despite losing $30 million in funding, a small group of Brooklyn residents are fighting to keep plans for a wind farm on the radar.

Plans for a 25-turbine wind farm in Long Gully Station near the Wellington suburb were put on ice in 2010 when Mighty River Power withdrew $30m of funding from the Windflow Technology project. Mighty River still has a stake in Windflow, but a spokesman has said the energy company will not be looking to develop the Long Gully wind farm any longer.

However, a group of residents, led by Greater Wellington regional councillor Paul Bruce, have been working to keep the project alive.

Although installing 25 turbines would not be likely in the near future, Mr Bruce said it could be possible to raise the funds for one or two over the next year.

The group was investigating whether any turbines owned by Windflow could be sold to the Brooklyn community.

"It would be nice to do the whole wind farm, but we are thinking of starting off with one or two turbines.

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"That would be much cheaper initially because you could feed through the power locally."

With each turbine estimated to cost between $1m and $2m to get up and running, the group was hoping to encourage shareholders from the local community.

It also hoped to get support from Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington regional council.

Long Gully Station owner Steve Watson still supported the project, but had begun to subdivide the land so his children could eventually build houses on it.

Contact Kerry McBride
Metro and Capital Day reporter
Email: kerry.mcbride@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @kerry_mcbride

 

The Dominion Post