Wind farm development abandoned

The Mt Maungatua wind farm development has been abandoned.

The founding company, Windpower Maungatua, has wound up the 50-turbine 25MW project because of its inability to find a new financial backer and the difficulties it faced in getting resource consent.

Windpower Maungatua director and shareholder David Tucker, the Dunedin-based spokesman for four southern shareholders, said the decision came after detailed investigations revealed several aspects of the project - including the fact there were areas of "regionally significant flora" near the proposed site and concerns from the local runanga - could make it difficult to get resource consent.

The wind farm was to have been sited on a ridge behind Mt Maungatua, above the Taieri Plain.

In March, the project's 50% financial backer, New Zealand Windfarms Ltd, pulled out of the project, because it did not believe consent would be given for turbines to be erected on the highest ridge.

These would then have had to be installed on lower ridges, where there was less wind.

At the time, Mr Tucker said the project was still alive, but the company had been unsuccessful in its hunt for a new backer.

"After all this time and effort, it's a shame to see it go, but that's just business sometimes."

A 50m mast without a turbine, which was installed at the site last year to collect data, had been dismantled and removed.

The company was not being wound up, but he was not sure as to what its next project would be.