Slopedown wind farm not a priority: Genesis

ALANA DIXON
Last updated 05:00 15/04/2011
NZ Windfarms
NOT A PRIORITY: Genesis Energy has put plans for a windfarm development on hold.

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A wind farm development near Wyndham has been put on the backburner, as the company behind it focuses its attention elsewhere.

Genesis Energy bought the proposed Slopedown windfarm project, 15km east of the town, from Wind Prospect CWP Ltd (NZ) in June.

Genesis Energy public affairs manager Richard Gordon said it was unlikely a resource consent application would be made by the end of the year, as efforts were focused on a windfarm development in the Wairarapa.

"We acquired the (Slopedown) project because we think it's got potential, but it's just not at the top of our list of our priorities right now," Mr Gordon said.

The company was still investigating and assessing environmental, commercial and infrastructure factors, he said.

"All of that work has to be undertaken before the work is started (to lodge a resource consent application)," he said.

However, a second wind mast, used to gather more wind measurement data, was being installed on the Wyndham site by the end of yesterday, Mr Gordon said.

A decision on where the project would go would be made this year.

Genesis representatives had also spent time in the south to meet community groups and other stakeholders, such as the Southland District Council, he said.

If built, the wind farm could supply about 74,000 Kiwi homes with power from its 3MW turbines.

However, community groups, including the West Catlins Preservation Society, had voiced their opposition to the project.

Mr Gordon said Genesis was aware of the group's concerns, which were over the visual impact which the development couldhave.

Meetings with members of the community had been focused on what stage the project was in rather than particular issues, he said.

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