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New Zealand farmers sell land rights to wind developers for future project
1 May 2002
A group of New Zealand farmers who own close to 40.5 square kilometres with good wind potential have formed a company to sell rights to local generators for the development of a wind farm in the area. The 14 kilometre stretch of coastal properties runs from just north of Makara Beach to just south of Titahi Bay, overlooking the western approaches to the wind funnel of Cook Strait. "It is a good wind site but we do not know at this stage if it is a viable one on current prices," says Neville Beach, one of the six farmers involved. He says that major New Zealand generating companies have expressed keen interest in the concept, but the real proof will be in the response to the request for proposals (RFP) soon to be issued by the group. The group's company, Windcorp Ltd, will handle any deals arising from the RFP. They are looking to see some serious development, with predictions of a wind farm investment of at least NZ$50 million supplying power to the national grid. While the current market in New Zealand remains static, the use of large turbines and greater efficiencies is seen as likely to make the price of power per kilowatt hour more attractive to the major generators.
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