Kaiwera Downs - Detailed Overview
TrustPower’s planned Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm is located approximately 15 km south east of Gore.
In November 2007 TrustPower lodged resource consent applications with the Gore District Council and Environment Southland for all consents required under the Resource Management Act 1991 for a proposed 240MW wind farm.
The consents sought for the proposal include a discretionary activity land use consent from the Gore District Council and land use consents, water permits and discharge permits required from Environment Southland. The Environment Southland consents are for controlled, restricted discretionary or discretionary activities which principally relate to construction activities. To see a copy of the resource consent application click here.
The Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm Philosophy
An 'environment first', rather than 'engineering first' philosophy has been adopted for the Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm in order to ensure that the environmental carrying capacity of the site, and any associated thresholds, are respected.
With this philosophy in mind, TrustPower has sought consent for a 'development envelope'. This approach provides flexibility, subject to resource consent conditions, for fine-tuning of the wind farm in order to accommodate ecological, landscape, geotechnical and other environmental values. The development envelope, for which consent has been granted, consists of:
• A 2568 ha area of land
• A maximum installed capacity of up to 240 MW.
• A maximum turbine height, to the tip of the blade, of 145 metres.
• A maximum of 83 turbines.
This envelope has been subject to continual refinement during project development in order to avoid adverse effects on important visual, landscape, ecological and archaeological values.
The approach adopted ensures that the environmental values of the site are not compromised and that the necessary flexibility for the engineering requirements of the scheme is provided for. Given this approach, generation potential can be maximised. Within the development envelope, detailed engineering design can aim to achieve the best mix of turbine capacity, tower height and associated tower spacing while also seeking to minimise, if not avoid, any environmental effects.
In addition to the turbines, the Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm will also have the following facilities:
• An electrical transmission system. This will consist of a 33 kV underground cable network connecting each turbine to a 220kV substation, which will be located within the proposed transmission envelope on the northern side of the turbine envelope. A 220kV transmission line, with transmission poles under 40m in height, will connect the substation to Transpower's 220 kV North Makarewa to Three Mile Hill line which is located near the intersection of Old Coach Road and Kaiwera Downs Road and approximately 4 km from the substation location options.
• An operations and maintenance building.
• An underground fibre optic network.
• Roof rain water collection system for a potable water supply.
• An on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system.
• Internal access tracks (approximately 45 km of tracks) with a maximum width of 10 m plus 1 metre batters on either side.
Construction of the facility would take place over 2 to 3 years. Construction will utilise standard construction equipment including large cranes. A concrete batching plant will be established on site and a construction water supply will be required. It is estimated that during the construction activities the total area of earthworks will cover an area of approximately 189.8 ha. However, around 20 ha (i.e., under 1% of the total area of the site) will be associated with permanent site facilities such as turbine platforms and access tracks.
TrustPower is currently awaiting favourable economic and other conditions before proceeding with development of the wind farm, including the resolution of issues regarding the imposition of HVDC transmission and upgrade charges upon new South Island generation projects.
If you have any queries about the Kaiwera Downs Wind Farm please contact Kerry Watson, TrustPower Environmental Manager, on 0800 87 11 11 extn 0 or email email@example.com , or Deion Campbell, TrustPower Acting Generation Manager, on 0800 87 11 11 extn 0 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.