The number of turbines on New Zealand's first commercial wind farm is set to treble next year with the final consent hurdles having been cleared by state-owned electricity retailer Genesis Power. The company has gained approval from the South Wairarapa District Council and plans to add up to 16 more turbines to the seven Enercon E40 500 kW machines already on site. No decision has been made on the turbine supplier, but Genesis boss Murray Jackson says the company is preparing to call for tenders for the supply of machines of up to 800 kW capacity. Wind development has stalled in New Zealand in recent years, with resource consent procedures leading to the delay or cancellation of projects and cheap hydropower keeping electricity prices down. But Genesis says its policy is to nonetheless increase its renewable energy generation portfolio, "covering wind, mini hydros and waste fuel generation." The 3.5 MW Hau Nui plant has been operational for six years, logging an average 43% capacity factor a year for the past three years.
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