The Makara Guardians, long term wind farm opponent to Meridian Energy's proposed West Wind wind farm, have decided not to appeal the New Zealand Environment Court's ruling in favour of the development. Protests have seen the number of proposed turbines cut from 70 to 66, with a generating capacity 160 MW. Delays as a result of the protests are said to have added over NZ$100 million to the estimated $500 million project. The Makura Guardians say it will be too costly to continue their opposition. The Environment Court's favourable decision comes in the wake of its rejection of Unison Networks' proposed 37 turbine wind farm on the country's east coast, which overturned earlier approval by the Hastings District Council. The court said that while issues of climate change and the use of renewable energy are important, the location was an outstanding landscape and its development would have adverse effects on local Maori values.
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