New Zealand

New Zealand

Meridian drops 633MW NZ project

NEW ZEALAND: Meridian Energy has dropped its application for a 633MW wind farm after a six-year permitting battle.

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Project Hayes was proposed for the Lammermoor Range in Central Otago, on the South Island. Meridian, the country’s largest electricity generator, submitted the application in 2006 and it was approved by the Central Otago and Otago Regional Councils in 2007.

However, the project has been held up by appeals at the Environment Court and High Court. The Environment Court found the negative impacts of the project outweighed the positive and declined the resource consents that were earlier granted by. It ruled the Lammermoor Range was an outstanding landscape.

Meridian says it has reviewed the project against its portfolio of renewable development options and that other projects are now a higher priority commercially.

"Withdrawing the consent applications is not only the most prudent commercial decision for Meridian, but also avoids prolonging uncertainty about this project for the community and the project’s supporters," said Meridian chief executive Mark Binns.

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