New Zealand-based Meridian Energy has announced it is withdrawing its applications that are before the Environment Court for resource consents for Project Hayes, a proposed 633.6 MW wind farm. The 176-turbine project was planned for the Lammermoor Range in Central Otago, New Zealand.
The wind farm was a high priority commercially for Meridian when the consent applications were lodged in 2006, when it was granted resource consents by the relevant local authorities in 2007, and Meridian remained committed through the Environment Court and High Court appeal processes. Since then, Meridian has reviewed the project against the company's portfolio of renewable development options.
‘Our portfolio has developed considerably, and our review showed us that other projects now are a higher commercial priority than Project Hayes,’ says Mark Binns, Meridian's CEO.
"Meridian now has a number of potential development options that would be progressed ahead of Project Hayes," he continues. "Withdrawing the consent applications is not only the most prudent commercial decision for Meridian, but also avoids prolonging uncertainty about this project for the community and the project's supporters."
Binns says withdrawing the resource consent applications for Project Hayes is the right decision but is disappointing, not only for Meridian but also for all those who had an interest in the project's proceeding.
"Meridian has worked closely with landowners, the community and a range of stakeholders throughout the resource consent process," he says. "We value the relationships we have developed in Central Otago, and acknowledge and thank everyone who has been involved in the project."
Meridian will continue to contribute to the Central Otago District Council's plan change process to help ensure robust planning frameworks are in place to support other potential wind farm developments in the region in the future.