A proposed wind farm project for Blueskin Bay would maintain
its "community values" despite a recommendation to move
toward a corporate governance structure.
About 40 residents attended a meeting this week to discuss
the multimillion-dollar proposal, which aims to erect several
turbines and, in a New Zealand first, make the 1000 homes in
the area energy self-sufficient.
Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust manager Scott Willis,
who is also the Blueskin Energy Project project manager,
provided an update on the project at Monday night's meeting.
He told the Otago Daily Times the project aimed to retain
community control and values, but "bring in necessary
expertise and most importantly show that we can make it
"We need to move beyond talk and into action, to make things
That included, on the recommendation of a legal firm, to move
towards the corporate structure of a limited liability
company, as a co-operative posed difficult legal questions
concerning power generation, he said.
"The simplest structure is to use a company but to use it
with the type of constitution that you might see in a
A staged approach was recommended, which would include
"taking on institutional investors when we need some
A small number of people expressed concern over the
involvement of companies, which "raised the red flag" to some
residents, Mr Willis said.
Backing could potentially come from Port Otago and Pioneer
Generation, but he stressed "no contracts had been signed".
Commercial investors would help reduce risk exposure and help
underwrite the establishment phase, he said,Mr Willis said
there was national interest in the project, and "people are
watching what we do very closely".