Wind farm component open day draws 1200

Part of the large crowd at the Mahinerangi wind farm machinery open day in  Fryatt St,  Dunedin ...
Part of the large crowd at the Mahinerangi wind farm machinery open day in Fryatt St, Dunedin on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
More than 1200 people turned out at an open day in Dunedin on Saturday to view components of turbines for the TrustPower Mahinerangi wind farm.

On display were 45m blades, 75-tonne nacelles in which the turbine's gearbox and generator sit, as well as the hubs that connect the blades to the nacelles. The towers are already on site.

TrustPower community relations co-ordinator Pip Tschudin said the open day's popularity reflected people's interest and enthusiasm for the project.

It helpedthat "electricity from these turbines would be powering this city" through the Halfway Bush substation, rather than being fed into the national grid, she said.

It was hoped the first turbine would be generating this month and all 12 by the end of May, producing electricity for 1100 homes.

Commissioning would be subject to hold-ups when the site was very windy, she said.

Marian and Lloyd Knight, of Mosgiel, brought their 4-year-old grandson Flynn to view the machinery.

The wind farm was a "great idea" as it made sense to diversify from hydro power, Mrs Knight said.

A gold coin donation raised $2255, which was matched by both TrustPower, and turbine manufacturer Vestas, raising $6765 for Lee Stream School.

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