3 Dec 2010

No firm date for start on new wind farm

7:07 am on 3 December 2010

Contact Energy does not yet know when it will begin development of a $400 million wind farm in southern Hawke's Bay, or how it will connect it to the national grid.

The Environment Court this week granted the company consent for the 58 turbine farm, which should generate enough electricity to power 70-thousand houses.

Conditions of the consent are yet to be finalised, but at this stage, Contact has five years to begin the project.

Chief executive David Baldwin says the company has not decided whether it will ask for that period to be extended. It also needs to get consent for transmission lines.

He says collaboration with other windfarms would be more effective.

Shares in Contact rose 3 cents to $6.01 on Thursday.