According to Hutt South MP (Member of Parliament) Trevor Mallard, plans for Wellington, New Zealand’s first wind farm have won carbon credits from the New Zealand Government for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and helping to make the country’s electricity supply more secure.Wellington, New Zealand – February 26, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Mallard visited Wainui Hills Wind Farm and said they could start generating electricity as early as next year. “Not only will this project directly benefit the New Zealand environment by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, it will also help to make our electricity supply more secure and contribute to the government’s target for renewable energy,” Mallard said. “That’s a win for Wainui Hills Wind Farm, the energy sector and New Zealand as a whole.” According to Mallard, the Wainui Hills Wind Farm has the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases equal to almost 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) between next year and the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. In return, it will receive up to 378,000 carbon credits, or Kyoto emission units. Chief Executive of Wainui Hills Wind Farm Graeme Neilson said the planned wind farm of up to 30 MW will have between 10 and 17 turbines and produce enough electricity to power up to 10,500 homes, or a city the size of Masterton, New Zealand. “The Government’s award of emission units has brought a wind farm for Wainuiomata and Wellington a step closer to reality,” Neilson said. “The likely value of the units means that we now hope to be in a position to start public consultation on our plans and seek the necessary resource consents within the next three to six months.” According to Neilson, If this wind farm can achieve the average price for these units that the Dutch Government has paid in its latest tender round for emission units, the contract currently being awarded will be worth around AUD$4 million (US$3.1 million) to the project. According to Mallard, the wind farm and the reduction in emissions it would achieve would not be financially viable without the award of emission units, thereby demonstrating the value of the Projects to Reduce Emissions program stimulating projects that would not otherwise be carried out. The wind farm is one of 15 projects awarded emission units last December in the first tender round of the Projects to Reduce Emissions program and is the fourth planned wind farm to be awarded emission units from the New Zealand government. The site for the wind farm had been chosen to balance the maximum wind resource with the least impact on the environment. Wainui Hills Wind Farm plans to hold an information session for the public before they finalize the design of the wind farm. That session will form part of the public consultation for the resource consent process. Dates and times locally will be announced.