Mahinerangi Wind Farm - Detailed Overview
An 'environment first', rather than 'engineering first', philosophy has been adopted for the Mahinerangi 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 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 was granted, consists of:
• A 1,723 ha area of land, as identified in Figure 1 (Volume 1 of the revised application documentation).
• A maximum installed capacity of up to 200 MW.
• A maximum turbine height, to the tip of the blade, of 145 metres.
• A maximum of 100 turbines.
This development 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, environmental effects.
In addition to the turbines, the Mahinerangi 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 substation which will be located within the MWF site. For stage 1 the wind farm will connect into an existing 33kV transmission line used for the Waipori hydro electric scheme. For subsequent stages the wind farm will require a new 110kV transmission line, with transmission poles under 20m in height, will connect the wind farm to Transpower's 110 kV Roxburgh to Halfway Bush line which is located around 7 km south of the proposed substation.
• An operations and maintenance building.
• An underground fibre optic network.
• Internal access tracks (approximately 7 km of tracks for stage 1 and 30 km for subsequent stages)
Construction of the facility would take place over 2 to 3 years. It is estimated that during the construction activities the total area of earthworks will cover an area of approximately 186.2 ha. However, just under 20 ha (i.e., under 2% of the total area of the site) will be associated with permanent site facilities such as turbine platforms, access tracks and buildings.
To see a site plan of Stage One of the Mahinerangi Wind Farm click on the link below.