$400 million windfarm approved

Trustpower's $400 million Mahinerangi wind farm has been approved by the Environment Court, the Otago Daily Times has been told.

No official details were available yesterday.

Upland Landscape Protection Society legal co-ordinator Ewan Carr said in Cromwell yesterday the wind farm had been approved by the court, "subject to conditions".

"But we don't know what the conditions are.

We will reserve comment until we've a bit more understanding of the decision," he said.

The project was originally approved by a joint committee of the Clutha District Council and the Otago Regional Council late last September, with 178 conditions.

The wind farm, on 1723ha of land about 50km west of Dunedin, will have 100 145m-high turbines capable of generating 200MW of power - enough to supply about 100,000 average-size homes.

The Upland Landscape Protection Society was the main appellant in a subsequent appeal to the Environment Court, which was heard in Dunedin in May.

Clutha District Council planning and environment manager Murray Brass said yesterday it was the council's understanding consent had been granted.

"It is an interim decision with further details yet to be finalised."


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