Wellington turbine keeps on turning
Meridian needed to obtain resource consent for a new wind turbine, double the size of the original one, which was nearing the end of its operational and design life.
The turbine was located on the edge of Wellington and visible from many parts of the city; and near the wildlife sanctuary, Zealandia.
Zealandia had not been created at the time that the original turbine (New Zealand’s oldest) was installed. However, since the completion of the pest-exclusion fence and removal of predators, a number of Threatened and At Risk indigenous species, predominantly birds, were translocated to Zealandia. These translocations commenced in 2000, some seven years after the installation of the turbine.
With the exception of flightless species, movement of avifauna occurs across the Zealandia fence. Surveys of bird movements along the fence line and by the turbine were carried out.
Flight path monitoring of indigenous birds showed that movements across the Zealandia fence line are largely restricted to the saddles, and that very little movement occurs along the ridgeline and in the vicinity of the wind turbine. Boffa Miskell’s report was accepted by Council and no hearing was required.
Preparation of an assessment of effects on the ecology — specifically avifauna