Oct/Nov 2015 News
Blueskin Energy Project Update Nov 2015
We have some significant developments to report this month. The process of building renewable generation in New Zealand involves seeking and receiving legal permission. The first important legal agreements relate to the use of the land involved. For large scale hydro developments this involves quite an important change in land-use and typically requires a large scale buy-up of property. For wind farm developments, things are a lot simpler. Because a wind turbine occupies such a small percentage of land area, the disruption to existing land-use is usually only during the short construction period and minor to neglible during the operation of the wind farm. This means that farming or other activities can usually continue on the same land as the wind farm. For the Blueskin Wind Farm development we have entered into a lease arrangement, which allows the development and operation of the wind farm and the continued farming and leisure operations associated with that land. This continues the tradition of multifunctional landscape in and around Blueskin, and is an efficient use of resources.
The second crucial legal agreements relate to the Resource Management Act (RMA). The purpose of the Resource Management Act “is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources”. It is important to note that the Act goes on to say that this “means managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well being and for their health and safety” while sustaining natural resources, meeting the needs of future generations, safeguarding ecosystems and avoiding adverse impacts on the environment.
The expert reports we have secured for our Resource Consent application have confirmed that the proposed wind farm development will have a significant and positive impact on our community as required by the RMA and that any potential adverse impact from the proposed development is likely to be minor to negligible and can be mitigated. Currently, our electricity supply comes from distant power stations or renewable generation plant with greenhouse gas emissions (due to the percentage of thermal generation involved in our electricity supply). We want to change all that and generate clean, green, local electricity.
We’ve now submitted our application for a Resource Consent to build the Blueskin Wind Farm. Even although many of you have participated in the many events since we started work on this project in 2009, we want more of your input now. The Resource Consent process allows people to express their positive support for projects, as well as suggesting improvements that could be implemented. The Resource Consent document is at the Blueskin Library for you to go over, and we have a copy at the BRCT office of course. I will also do my best to come and talk to anybody who wants direct questions answered throughout November, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are very excited that after so many years the hard work is finally bearing fruit!
To stay in touch with developments, subscribe to our BRCT update via our website: www.brct.org.nz or pop into the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. Telephone enquiries can be made on 4822048.