Wind farm consent application delay

The company behind plans for a $400 million wind farm near the Southland township of Wyndham has confirmed it will not lodge its resource consent application until early 2010 - about six months later than it had originally hoped.

And it could be several weeks after that before the application is actually in the public arena.

Wind Prospect CWP (NZ) Ltd has spent the past 18 months working on plans to build the development on land about 15km east of Wyndham.

After months of consulting locals, it turned to finalising the detailed plans it needs to submit with its application.

Project manager Shirley Ferguson yesterday said it had put its "targeted lodgement date" back to early 2010.

This was to ensure the company completed a full and thorough assessment of all the necessary reports.

Instead of "drip-feeding" councils with consent applications over several weeks, it preferred to file one large application.

She denied suggestions the ongoing delays meant the company was reconsidering its plans, saying it was "fully committed to the project going ahead".

Much of its attention was focused on finishing reports into the transmission line to the wind farm site and the switching gear connecting the wind farm to Transpower's main transmission line between Clinton and Gore.

"We want those reports completed to the best of our ability before we lodge," Ms Ferguson said.

Five councils - Southland District Council, Environment Southland, Gore District Council, Clutha District Council and the Otago Regional Council - will be involved in the consent process, although the Southland District Council is expected to be the lead authority.


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