The South Island's first wind farm is consented and built
White Hill Wind Farm is a 42-turbine wind farm located on the undulating hills near Mossburn, Southland. Boffa Miskell’s team of planners, landscape planners, ecologists and technical services specialists prepared the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE), completed the landscape and ecological assessments, coordinated the resource consent application and compiled the numerous technical reports required for the assessment of environmental effects.
The landscape planning team assessed the landscape and visual effects of the wind farm, taking into account the construction and permanent landscape and visual impacts. White Hill is an elevated landform at the edge of the Waimea Plains and at the northwestern end of a geological formation known as the Southland Syncline.
Our planners led the environmental effects assessment and resource consenting process, compiling the technical reports and preparing the application documentation. Working closely with the technical experts and our client, Meridian Energy, consent was granted with no subsequent appeals, which was a notable achievement for a development of this scale and nature in such a sensitive natural environment.
Resource consent was granted in December 2004 with no appeals. Construction began in March 2006 and White Hill became operational in 2007.
Boffa Miskell ecologists designed a bird monitoring programme for White Hill. This has focused on New Zealand falcon, which is a threatened species, and began before construction to understand flight patterns and behaviour. Monitoring will continue now the turbines are operational so that any changes in falcon behaviour or survival can be recorded and remedial action taken if necessary. One of the conditions of consent related to the potential assessment of effects on the New Zealand falcon and a monitoring programme was developed and carried out from 2005-2017.
Boffa Miskell planners, landscape planners, ecologists and technical services specialists prepared the AEE. Ecologists carried out a post-construction falcon monitoring programme.