15 May 2003
Electricity retailer and generator TrustPower Limited has announced a $60 million expansion of its 48-turbine Tararua windfarm to 103 turbines, providing clean energy sufficient for the needs of 16,000 homes.
The windfarm extension will help New Zealand avoid having to burn fossil fuels to meet its energy supply needs, saving approximately 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
Orders for the 55 additional turbines, which will increase the windfarm's output to 68 MW, have been placed with the Danish manufacturer Vestas. Vestas was the manufacturer of the existing turbines commissioned in 1999.
TrustPower made the decision to use the same make and model of turbine because of their proven suitability for the site and to realise economies in maintenance and spare parts requirements.
Approximately $20 million of the $55 million project would be spent in New Zealand on site-works and locally produced components such as the lattice towers. The workforce on the site is expected to range between 15 and 40 people.
With the resource consents for this expansion are already in place, it is expected that the first new turbine will be operational by mid-December this year, with the entire 55 commissioned and tested by 15 May next year.
TrustPower Deputy Chairman Dr Bruce Harker said 'projects such as this are a natural response by the private sector to the reality of rising wholesale prices and TrustPower is pleased to be able to mobilise this short lead
time project to come on stream before next winter.'
Renewable projects such as wind struggle for viability in competition with fossil fuels and a key supporting factor in making this project viable was the Government's early granting to TrustPower of a property right for the
renewable carbon credits generated by the project over the period 2008 to 2012.
Dr Harker said "The Minister of Energy and the Climate Change Office have been very supportive of this renewable energy project."
Dr Harker also added 'TrustPower has the capital base for significant further project investments and needs only the confidence in an undistorted wholesale market to continue to invest in developing projects.'
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