Funds raised for wind turbine test

A plan to build a windmill cluster near Warrington is a step closer to going ahead, after the trust behind it raised more than $8800 to erect a testing tower.

Blueskin Energy Project manager Scott Willis said the trust had exceeded its target of raising $8200 to install a 30m wind tower, which would allow it to carry out precise testing at its proposed wind turbine site on Porteous Hill.

''We are absolutely over the moon,'' Mr Willis said.

The tower's owner, TrustPower, had earlier offered use of the tower free of charge, but the fundraising was needed to install it and pay for new equipment used to measure wind speed.

The trust planned to lodge a resource consent to install the tower today and hoped to have it up by the end of February.

Mr Willis said wind figures taken from the tower would confirm data taken from a smaller 10m tower, which had been up for about two years.

These ''more precise'' figures would be important when sourcing funding for the project.

The trust used the ''crowdsourcing'' website PledgeMe to raise money to put the tower up. About 100 people had given money by the time the fundraising effort finished yesterday. The trust plans to erect up to four turbines on Porteous Hill at a cost of between $5 million and $6 million.

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