Dec 2015/ Jan 2016 News
The Resource Consent process is an important process that allows an assessment of the environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of any proposed development. Blueskin Energy Ltd (BEL), the charitable company owned by the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, is the ‘applicant’ seeking a Resource Consent to build a wind farm comprised of three wind turbines within a ‘development envelope’ on a title of land on Porteous Hill (see image of BRCT's Kat Achterberg at the site). The formal public consultation part of the process took place between November and December last year and resulted in many submissions both for and against the proposal. Then holidays came along, and with some wonderful weather (though not for farmers) everyone skipped off into the sun for a while. Back at work now we are working through the many comments, ideas and suggestions included in the submissions to see what else remains to be done.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a submission. We know that, despite the many articles and meetings, it is not always easy to remember details or follow the evolution of plans. However, we are still available to answer questions and provide factual detail to anyone who wants to know more about the proposal, even while we continue to deal with practical matters and evaluate the submissions.
Some have asked what the income that returns to BRCT from the proposed wind farm might be used for. Activities that provide a community benefit is the short answer. The Trust’s constitution with its vision, mission and objectives give good direction and we can already see the benefit of providing information and opportunities to install solar in the large number of solar PV systems that have been installed in Blueskin Bay over the past two years. Of course we’d like to increase all local generation as renewable generation sources complement each other and reduce our dependence on electricity from non-renewable sources (at present, that’s around 30% of our electricity). Our insulation retrofit work in 2009 ensured many homes received insulation retrofits but there are still many people living in cold, unhealthy homes who can suffer ill-health as a result and are hit with high power bills. So getting insulation to where it’s needed is still critical. There are a number of homes that are at risk from flooding events and most people agree that this is a hazard that is best faced up to collectively. And of course we hope to use some resources to boost biodiversity in Blueskin. Over all, we work to build a more resilient community, where we manage resources well in our own back yard.
To stay in touch pop into the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. Telephone enquiries can be made on 4822048.