Environment Court rejects community-owned wind project

New Zealand’s first community-led wind development, Blueskin Wind Farm, has failed to secure a resource consent for erecting a single 3MW turbine.

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) took its case to the Environment court in a bid to save its pioneering project, after Dunedin City Council had turned down its application for a resource consent to build a three-turbine wind farm on Porteous Hill, above Blueskin Bay in Dunedin.

The resource consent was declined primarily because of the visual impact of the northern most proposed turbine on 3 residential properties in Pryde Road. Blueskin Energy Ltd appealed the decision on the 2nd of August 2016.

The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust  scaled back the project on Porteous Hill from a three turbine windfarm to a single 3 megawatt turbine during the court case, which began in June.

The Environment Court praised the positive renewable energy benefits of a community turbine, but said the negative impact on a valued landscape outweighed the potential benefits.