Te Uku Wind Farm is a wind farm located at Te Uku near Raglan. It has a capacity of 64 MW[2][3] using 28 wind turbines. Construction was completed in March 2011,[4] at a cost of $200 million.[5] The farm covers an area of approximately 200 hectares (2.0 km2).[6] The wind farm is jointly owned by WEL Networks and Meridian Energy.[7]

Te Uku Wind Farm
The wind farm in June 2012
CountryNew Zealand
LocationTe Uku, near Raglan
Coordinates37°52′42″S 174°57′47″E / 37.87833°S 174.96306°E / -37.87833; 174.96306
Construction beganOctober 2010 (October 2010)
Commission date19 November 2011 (19 November 2011)
Construction cost$230m
Owner(s)Meridian Energy and New Zealand
Wind farm
Hub height80 m (262 ft)
Rotor diameter101 m (331 ft)
Rated wind speed14–90 km/h (9–56 mph)
Site area200 hectares (2.0 km2)
Site elevation500m
Power generation
Units operational28
Make and modelSiemens: SWT-2.3-101[1]
Nameplate capacity64 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Resource consent was granted in May 2008[8] and appeals were resolved by November 2008. Construction of the wind farm began in 2010.[9] Hick Bros Civil and Spartan Construction won an award for outstanding technical and environmental planning.[10] The wind farm was officially opened by Prime Minister John Key in February 2011.[11] Te Uku was fully operational on 10 March 2011.[12]

Te Uku Windfarm is controlled from Wellington where Meridian has its control centre for running all of their New Zealand Hydro and Wind generation assets.

The windfarm is linked to the national grid at Te Kowhai substation by about 17 km (11 mi) of 33 kV lines on 159[13] steel poles built on concrete pile foundations[14] and an underground cable from just west of Waitetuna Valley Rd to Cogswell Rd,[15] a total of about 25 km (16 mi).[16][17][18]

Construction edit

Each 130.5 m. high, 318 tonne, turbine took 2 or 3 days to build using 4 cranes, the largest a 600 tonne KR Wind/NZ Crane Group Alliance crane. Towers were formed in 3 sections (made in Korea), and topped by Siemens components (as at Makara) - a 3.5 m circumference, 81 tonne nacelle, hub and 3 turbine blades. Barge transport was considered, but rejected in favour of road transporters running from September 2010 to January 2011.[19]

Pipiwharauroa Way edit

One of the mitigation measures was this walking and cycling track. The track climbs from a car park on Kawhia Rd, near Bridal Veil, runs about 6 km and climbs 280m to the windfarm on Wharauroa Plateau. Over 2 km of less interesting walking can be saved if the walk is started from the gate at the end of the driveable part of Plateau Rd. From this point Lake Disappear can be seen to the south after wet weather. The track peters out into the partly formed paper road (see the dashed line on the 1:50,000 map just north of the Pakihi Stream). It follows an ancient Maori track which was often used by warriors on raids between Waikato and Kawhia.[20]

The road access to the windfarm largely followed the paper road, which was started around 1900 (a local historian, Bob Vernon, wrote that a store ledger started at Te Mata in 1896 includes at least 11 workers on the road[21]) and seemingly abandoned a few years later, though Bob Vernon also wrote, "about 1919 the Public Works Department cut a six-foot track through solid bush, from the south-eastern end of the plateau [where it joins this paper road] to the head of the Makomako valley".[22]

In 2013 there was controversy between a local farmer and Waikato District Council about whether Pipiwharauroa Way could be closed for the lambing season.[23]

Microwave tower edit

microwave tower beside trig point in 2009

From the mid 1950s a microwave tower has been on the crest of the hill overlooking Te Uku.[24] It is now also part of a smart metering network.[25] There is also a VHF repeater near the tower.[26]

See also edit

The 1950s microwave tower is dwarfed by the 130m high turbine

References edit

  1. ^ "ere200911019". www.siemens.com (Press release).
  2. ^ "Project Te Uku". Meridian Energy. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Introduction and fact sheet". WEL Networks. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Gala Day Celebrates Completion Of Te Uku Wind Farm" (Press release). Meridian Energy. 23 March 2011.
  5. ^ Bradley, Grant (16 October 2009). "Meridian Energy to build 64 megawatt Raglan wind farm". NZ Herald.
  6. ^ "WEL wind park resource consent application" (PDF). WEL Networks Ltd. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  7. ^ "Wind Park Update" (PDF). WEL Networks Ltd. 17 September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  8. ^ "Wind farm bid a winner". Waikato Times. 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2008 – via Mercury Energy.
  9. ^ "First turbine goes up at Te Uku wind farm" (Press release). Meridian Energy. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Hick Bros & Spartan pick up prize for building Te Uku Wind Farm". Raglan 23. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  11. ^ Holloway, Bruce (10 February 2011). "PM blown away by wind farm". Stuff. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Construction of Te Uku wind farm complete" (Press release). Meridian Energy. 31 March 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Raglan Chronicle". Issuu. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Wind Farm Electricity Generation: Edison". www.edison.co.nz. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  15. ^ "WEL Networks western upgrade". Raglan 23. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  16. ^ "John key opens Te Uku Wind Farm". Raglan 23. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Raglan wind farm wins top award". Waikato Times. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  18. ^ "Wel's windfarm critic has plenty of hits at hearing". Waikato Times. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  19. ^ "First Turbine Goes Up At Te Uku Wind Farm". Raglan 23. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  20. ^ C. W. Vennell; Susan Williams (1976). Raglan County Hills and Sea: A Centennial History 1876-1976. Wilson & Horton. p. 76. ISBN 9780868640020. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  21. ^ Te Mata - Te Hutewai the Early Days R. T. VERNON 1972 A. O. RICE LIMITED
  22. ^ Vernon, Robert Thomas (1973). Te Mata, Aotea. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  23. ^ Raglan Chronicle. "ISSUU - Raglan Chronicle by Raglan Chronicle". Issuu. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  24. ^ Te Uku microwave mast on 1:50,000 map
  25. ^ Aprisa XE and Aprisa SR empower robust, reliable, digital multi-service network
  26. ^ "Te-Uku part of new amateur radio network". Raglan 23. 17 December 2014.

External links edit

  1. ^ "Te Uku Wind Farm". www.windenergy.org.nz. Retrieved 9 December 2015.