Taumatatotara-NZ Wind Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ventus Energy (NZ) Ltd was granted resource consent to construct 22 turbines with tip heights of 110m at Taumatatotara West Road in 2006 by the Waitomo District Council. That decision was appealed but the appeal was withdrawn in 2008 and hence the final approval was granted in 2008.   Ventus subsequently applied to increase the turbine height of the northern 11 turbines to 121.5 in 2011 which was approved. 
Shortly after the turbine height extension was granted the wholesale electricity market slumped, largely due to the economic downturn associated with the global financial crisis, which made the project uneconomic. In recent times the wholesale electricity market has improved and, in association with larger turbine rotors which reduce the cost of energy, wind farms are now a viable alternative to other forms of electricity generation. 
Larger turbines capture greater energy from the wind for a disproportionately small increase in capital cost.   The proposed project now is for 11 turbines up to 172m tall but surrendering the southern 11 turbines.  This dramatically increases the separation distance of 3rd party houses to 3.7km and overall results in a positive environmental effects compared to the original 22 turbine project. Development is again active on the project and the anticipated start date for construction is Q3 2021.