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News / DoC opposes Kaimai wind farm proposal

DoC opposes Kaimai wind farm proposal

DoC opposes Kaimai wind farm proposal

Posted February 20, 2019
Environmental , Business

The Department of Conservation has opposed the proposal to build a 24-turbine wind farm at the northern end of the Kaimai Ranges.

Hauraki District Council received 220 submissions on the proposal with 57 supporting and 157 opposed to the wind farm. 

Waikato Regional Council received 143 submissions altogether, with 96 against and 42 in support of the proposal. Approximately 11 neutral submissions were received.

Kaimai Windfarm Ltd’s proposal spans an area of 1,304 hectares or just over 3,222 acres bordering Rotokohu Road, Paeroa and SH26 Tirohia. The turbines are of a three-bladed design, with seven turbines at a maximum height of 180 metres and seventeen at a maximum height of 207 metres. 

DoC raised concerns about the potential effects of the wind farm on threatened indigenous species like the long tailed bat and other biodiversity that it considers could be impacted by the wind farm.Colliding with the turbines and the loss of feeding and breeding habitat is a potential threat for the critically endangered long tailed bats.

The visual impact of the turbines on the landscape and noise were concerns raised by other submitters opposing the windfarm proposal while submitters in support brought up the benefit of a viable alternative to fossil fuels for power generation. 

Pre-hearing meetings will be heard to narrow down the issues to be heard at a later hearing. The hearing is expected to take place before the middle of the year.

The application also involves the construction of a new sub-station including two new lattice transmission towers, construction of two overhead power lines including double pole termination structures, 18.9 km km of internal roading, 24 turbine platforms, including crane pad, three turbine component laydown and construction equipment storage areas, replacement of eight existing culverts, underground cable network to collect the electrical output from each turbine, earthworks, a quarry and vegetation clearance.

Long tailed bat image: Photo credit - Colin O’Donnel - DoC