Need to assess all projects

Meridian Energy is disappointed consents for its proposed $2 billion Project Hayes wind farm have been declined by the Environment Court, but has not yet decided whether to appeal to the High Court, a spokesman says.

A decision on an appeal opposing the wind farm was issued to parties involved in the Environment Court hearing yesterday.

It upheld the appeal and cancelled consents for the project first issued in 2007 by the Otago Regional Council and Central Otago District Council.

Meridian spokesman Alan Seay, of Wellington, said the company was "obviously disappointed" about the decision and would study the 350-page document in depth.

"It's a lengthy decision and it will require a bit of study so we will assess it in detail and consider our response after that," he said.

Mr Seay said Meridian was able to make an appeal to the High Court, but only on points of law.

"It's a possibility, but I am not going to speculate what we may do," he said.

Meridian would also consider implications the decision would have on its portfolio of other proposed electricity generation projects, he said.

"We will consider all implications of this decision, not just for Project Hayes but for the rest of our development portfolio.

We've got other wind-farm and hydro developments that we are either seeking consents for or will be," Mr Seay said.

Meridian has spent about $8 million on its Project Hayes plan. Costs include pre-feasibility planning, consent applications, the appeal and land.


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