Massive solar farm project near Taupō about to see the light

Sep 5, 2022 04:54 PM ET
  • Plans to build a 400MW solar energy station on farmland near Taupō will be listened to by an independent resource authorization commissioner later this month.
Massive solar farm project near Taupō about to see the light

Simply four submissions were obtained by the Taupō District Council (TDC) after Todd Generation made an application for source consents to transform an existing 1022ha dairy farm, about 40km from Taupō on State Highway 5, into a solar farm.

The proposed solar farm (contrary the Rangitāiki Tavern) would see the setup of roughly 900,000 ground mounted solar panels, in addition to equipment needed to send out power to the nationwide grid, over 3 stages, phasing out dairy farm operations at each stage over concerning five years.

At a conference held on August 31, the TDC designated source consent commissioner Bill Walsey to chair the hearing put down for September 21.

Todd Generation, under its subsidiary Nova Energy, would certainly money the project as well as in a statement said-- subject to a final investment decision to be made after the consenting procedure-- it recommended to "break ground on the 150MW stage 1 in 2023, with operations commencing around 18 months later."

In his submission against the solar farm, questionable journal farmer Allan Crafar stated the New Zealand economy would shed 3000 dairy cows and also "at the very least $30,000,000" each year if the consent was given.

Crafar took place to claim that "Chinese photovoltaic panels are made using slave labour" and "never ever, in their beneficial life, return enough energy to change the environmental as well as energy expense of making them".

He said the panels would certainly be an eye sore and a distraction for motorists and only created intermittent power.

In its submission, Waka Kotahi claimed it was neutral in the direction of the source authorization and also "the applicant has actually identified the capacity for this task to lead to sunshine glare as well as reflectance, which can have a result on the safety of roadway customers".

" An initial glare assessment has actually been embarked on, which identified that without mitigation, there is the possibility for glare to impact motorists for approximately 10 mins per day at certain times of the year."

Rotorua/Taup ō Federated Farmers speaker Colin Guyton claimed Federated Farmers were "supportive of renewable electricity generation and transmission generally" however were worried concerning the loss of efficient farmland, "which originates from the existing fad of some farmland expanding into non-food production markets such as carbon farming and renewable electricity".

Fire and Emergency situation New Zealand also made a submission but claimed it would certainly work straight with Todd Generation when it come to website access in case of emergency situations.

Officials from the TDC recommended the application be given, and that the "bulk of the negative impacts of the proposal on the atmosphere are suitably stayed clear of, corrected or minimized; that there are considerable favorable results from the proposal; and also on equilibrium, the moderate-adverse country character and also aesthetic effects from the proposed solar project are thought about to be appropriate in this circumstances".

Todd Generation's solar farm project is just one of a handful of huge solar farm projects in the pipe throughout the nation.

In April, Helios Energy, formed by a team of USA and New Zealand business owners introduced it had actually been "quietly developing" a collection of grid-connected solar farms that would certainly have a combined maximum capacity of 1 gigawatt.

And also in June, Lodestone Energy claimed it had protected $300 million to develop 5 solar farms near Dargaville, Kaitaia, Whakatane, Edgecumbe and also Whitianga that could generate 350 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year, or a little under 1% of the nation's power.

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