23 February, 2004
Extended wind farm wins carbon credits
Genesis Power has been awarded “carbon credits” for up to 16 new turbines that will more than double the size of its Hau Nui wind farm in Southern Wairarapa.
Genesis’ plans for building Auckland’s first wind farm on the Awhitu peninsula have also won credits, or emission units, from the Government for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and helping to make New Zealand’s electricity supply more secure.
Associate Minister of Energy Harry Duynhoven, announcing the government support in Wairarapa today, said construction of the 5 megawatt Hau Nui extension was expected to start generating electricity later this year, and, depending on the resource consent process, the planned 19 megawatt wind farm on Awhitu could start generating next year.
“Together, the new turbines at Hau Nui and the planned Awhitu wind farm could produce enough electricity to power up to 10,000 homes. They also have the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases equal to approximately 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide between now and the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
“That’s a win for the environment, the security of New Zealand’s electricity supply and the Government’s target for renewable energy.”
Generating electricity from renewable sources of energy, such as wind and water, reduces emissions by removing the need to generate more electricity using fossil fuels such as coal or gas. Genesis Power will receive up to 330,414 carbon credits, or Kyoto emission units, as it achieves its targeted reduction in emissions.
Genesis Chief Executive Murray Jackson said the company has adopted a policy of growth for the company’s renewable energy generation portfolio covering wind, mini hydro stations and waste fuel generation.
He said the capacity factor for Hau Nui has averaged 43 percent per annum over the past three years and the forecast for an enlarged site looks good.
“Public consultation for the proposed Awhitu wind farm is extensive and Genesis plans to lodge resource consents in mid-March,” he said.
Harry Duynhoven said the wind farms are two of 15 projects awarded emission units last December in the first tender round of the Projects to Reduce Emissions programme. They take to six the number of wind farms to have received emission units from the Government.
Two early projects, Meridian Energy’s Te Apiti wind farm and the second stage of TrustPower’s Tararua wind farm, were awarded emission units last year. Two other companies, New Zealand Windfarms and Wainui Hills Wind Farm, won units in the Projects tender round for a 50 megawatt wind farm in Manawatu and a wind farm on Wellington’s Wainui hills of up to 30 megawatts.
The Government received a total of 46 bids for the four million emission units offered in the Projects to Reduce Emissions tender. All 46 tenders were assessed by an independent panel, chaired by company director Rick Christie, while the final decisions were taken by the Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment, Barry Carbon.
Details of other projects awarded emission units will be announced as agreements are signed by the project owners and the Government.