Jason Welsh acted for TrustPower Limited in respect of the successful consenting of its 200 MW wind farm near Lake Mahinerangi in Otago. The wind farm is being developed using an 'environment first' approach, with a focus on avoiding environmental impacts in the first instance.
Consent was confirmed by the Environment Court for construction of 100 turbines located over a 1,723 hectare site, necessary electrical transmission systems including a substation, transmission lines and an underground cabling network, and ancillary infrastructure such as a rain-water collection system for water supply and on-site water treatment plant.
The project required consents from both Clutha District Council and Otago Regional Council. Community consultation took place over a number of years, and culminated in applications for resource consent being filed with both Councils in 2006. The joint Council hearing was held in May 2007, and the decision to grant resource consents issued in September 2007. That decision was appealed to the Environment Court by an incorporated society, and the grant of consents was confirmed by the Environment Court in late 2008.
Chris Simmons also represented TrustPower in an associated High Court judicial review application concerning the Mahinerangi wind farm. Those proceedings resulted in a legal challenge to the grant of consents being dismissed, with the High Court awarding costs against the incorporated society which brought the proceedings.
The Mahinerangi wind farm is located within an energy landscape and in close proximity to the Deep Stream and Waipori hydro-electric power schemes, both of which Jason Welsh advised on the sucessful consenting.