Mt Cass Wind Farm
Update 4 October 2021: Change of condition application RC210137 granted by the Council in relation to:
- Amendments to the size, form and location of the substation and operations and maintenance buildings (condition 16).
- A small change to the location of the exclusion zone shown on the design plans to enable the road realignment to be adjusted in line with the micro-siting ecological assessment recommendations. This will result in consequential changes to conditions which reference the design plans with the amended exclusion zone (conditions 6, 8, 15, 31(h), 54, 94 and 99).
- An additional condition to clarify that the resource consent is the property of and will be exercised by Mt Cass Wind Farm Limited (MCWFL). MCWFL is owned by Mainpower New Zealand Limited and has been set up to manage the design, construction and operation of the wind farm and to meet the ‘arm’s length’ rules of the Electricity Industry Act 2010.
- Changes to the timeframe to provide the certified Construction Management Plan.
- Administrative change to condition 134(a) to refer to the correct turbine layout.
- Administrative changes to condition 175 to ensure consistency in the cross referencing to provide clarity on the consent holders obligations.
Update 17 October 2019: This consent was due to lapse on 7 February 2020. On 15 August 2019, the Council granted an extension to the lapse date of five years. This means the consent will now lapse on 7 February 2025.
MainPower New Zealand Limited (MainPower) lodged an application in 2007 to establish and operate a windfarm on the ridge of Mt Cass, Waipara (RC070250). Hurunui District Council declined the application and MainPower appealed the decision to the Environment Court (ENV-2009-CHC-100).
Environment Court process
As a result of mediation discussions MainPower prepared a series of maps identifying alternative layouts. Aspects of the alternative layouts were considered outside of the original application scope. A new resource consent (RC100059) was lodged. On 20 August the new application along with submissions received and a report prepared by the Council under section 87F of the Resource Management Act 1991 were filed with the Environment Court (ENV-2010-CHC-200).
The Environment Court granted the consent on 6 December 2011 subject to extensive conditions. MainPower have eight years to give effect to this consent.
The Environment Court determination demonstrates decisions on wind farm applications often come down to weighing up national level benefits with adverse effects at the local level. While the Court found there were adverse effects on the landscape, visual character and local amenity, when viewed in totality, the outcomes for the environment are positive. Local benefits include the creation and funding of the Mt Cass Conservation Management Area for the restoration of this significant limestone ecosystem and a proposed extension to the Mt Cass walkway to make the site more accessible for recreation and education purposes. Broader benefits include the positive impact of renewable energy generation.
- Environment Court decision
- Location map
- Consent conditions
For further information
Please contact Helga Bennett on email@example.com