New Zealand’s largest generator of renewable energy, Meridian Energy, announced it would seek regulatory permission for a wind farm of up to 70 MW, near Mossburn in northern Southland. At its proposed size, the development could power all the 30,000 houses in the Southland District and Invercargill City area.Southland, New Zealand – September 21, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Meridian Chief Executive Keith Turner said the company was well through construction on its first New Zealand wind farm – Te Apiti – north of the Manawatu Gorge. “We are presently evaluating a number of sites throughout the country.” Turner said. “White Hill looks very promising and we have taken the decision to consult with the public and then apply for resource consents.” The site, known as White Hill, is mostly covered with Douglas fir seedlings and has an existing network of roads which could be widened for wind farm construction. Meridian has a long-term agreement with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas which supplied the turbines for its Te Apiti wind farm. These turbines are the first megawatt-class machines installed in New Zealand, each one can power between 700 and 900 homes, depending on the wind resource. “Our wind monitoring on the White Hill site has shown us that there is a very good resource here and we look forward to discussing the proposal with local communities and interested parties,” Turner said. Open days will be held at Mossburn Community Centre on Thursday 23 September, 10 am – 6pm; Lumsden Memorial Hall Friday 24 September, 10am – 6pm and Dipton Memorial Hall on Saturday 25 September, 9am -2pm.