Wind generation on island a step closer

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SOUTHLAND district councillors have decided on a contractor for the pre-development stage of a Stewart Island wind power project.

The council’s services and assets committee was this week asked to approve the recommendation of direct negotiation with consultant Roaring 40s Wind Power for the pre-development phase, which it did.

The company will provide consultancy services on identifying, investigating and developing wind power projects.

Services and assets group manager Matt Russel said they would be used predominantly for feasibility, design, and consents.

“At this stage, our intention with working with Roaring 40s is to keep the design on an envelope basis, rather than placed on a specific turbine.”

He said if they were to design and consent to a specific turbine, they would be locked in to an individual supplier.

He explained the envelope approach as being, will not exceed this height, it will not exceed this noise. It would not infringe beyond these impacts and effects on the environment to enable us to see the best value for money and through a competitive tender process.

The other options were to proceed with a competitive procurement process to establish a consultant for the pre-development phase of the Stewart Island wind power project, or do nothing and not exercise the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) agreement.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the council executed a funding agreement in January to develop wind generation capacity on Stewart Island. It followed a $3.16 million grant from the PGF, to build two wind turbines.

At the time, Environment Minister David Parker said there had been more than a dozen reports into alternative energy sources for the island, but none had gone ahead.

The PGF funding will allow for the pre-development and construction stages to be completed.

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