Preparation of wind farm access roads

A simulation of TrustPower's Mahinerangi wind farm, seen from the junction of Eldorado Track and...
A simulation of TrustPower's Mahinerangi wind farm, seen from the junction of Eldorado Track and Mahinerangi Rd. Graphic supplied.
Some of the first sods in TrustPower's 200MW Mahinerangi wind farm project will be turned when engineers start to widen the roads that will carry the first of its turbines.

They will work on some of the corners along two roads close to the site next week, just as the community considers how it will work with the company behind the project.

TrustPower spokeswoman Pip Tschudin said this week several groups and organisations had been asked to be part of a consultative group to keep the community informed about the project.

Proposed members include representatives of the Clutha District and Dunedin City councils, and Leith Stream School. Forming the group is part of the company's resource consent. Its membership will be confirmed before it meets next month.

Wind farm project manager Jim Pearson confirmed the first bend improvements would be made along Mahinerangi Rd and Eldorado Track next week.

Blind and deceptive corners would be widened to improve visibility and safety for everything from normal site traffic to the largest of the oversize loads. These would start arriving after on-site work on roads, hardstands, and foundations started in the first week of September.

The turbine shipping details were still being finalised, but Mr Pearson expected the foundation embed cylinders to arrive from Korea in mid-October and the tower sections to arrive from Vietnam in mid-December. The blades, nacelles and hubs should arrive from Denmark in January.

Mr Pearson said they were likely to be carried on 84 turbine-related trips from Dunedin's Leith Wharf, along State Highways 1 and 87 (Gordon Rd).

A traffic management plan would address how, and when, the loads were moved to minimise the impact on other road users and the community. The plan should be finished by the middle of this month, he said.

TrustPower was talking with roading authorities about the routes and road conditions. There were no concerns about damage that could not be addressed by current maintenance plans, and any damage caused by the project would be fixed by TrustPower, he said.

• TrustPower this week released a new series of photographic simulations which show what stage one of the wind farm will look like. Previous simulations were prepared for the resource consent process, in which TrustPower was granted consent for 100 turbines.

The simulations show the dozen, 3MW Vestas V90 wind turbines that make up the 36MW, stage one development, as seen from Waipori Falls Rd and the junction of Eldorado Track and Mahinerangi Rd.

TrustPower expects the first power from stage one of the project to be produced in February next year. The farm should be fully commissioned by May.

The power will be fed into the Aurora Network. Long-term, the company expects annual output to be 105GWh, enough to supply about 13,000 Dunedin homes.

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