Gathan Beaga

west wind

proposed turbine sites west of WellingtonSo all-renewable power generator Meridian Energy last week announced something really cool: a super-huge wind farm out to the west of Wellington.

Like many people living in Wellington, I think this is a great idea. Imagine, the thing that many people dislike the most about Wellington turned into one huge green asset! The project could make Wellington, on average, enough electricity to meet its current needs in a low-impact non-destructive way. No petrochemicals here, folks; no drowned valleys or 22,000 year radioactive waste dumps. And by generating so close to town we are, in a way, taking responsibility for our own energy use.

Now there is bound to be a reasonable amount of quite vocal opposition to the project. You can’t blame the residents closest to proposed site to be concerned about the effect on the view, potential noise, and other issues. I think, after reading some of collateral, that Meridian has been thinking about these things too. And there’s a consent process to go through that should shake this stuff out.

And at the end of the day, if we want the energy, we have to be ready to pay the price. From my personal point of view I would much rather see a wind farm at Makara than another hydro-electric dam in the South Island. And in any case, I like looking at turbines. I find the wind farms on either side of the Manawatu Gorge a great source of distraction every time I drive past.

So, from my restful armchair, I’m offering my immediate support in the only way slothful geeks like me know how: via the Internet. This evening I’ve signalled my support directly on the Meridian site; and Becky and I have initiated a change in power supplier from Genesis to Meridian as a small market signal of approval (and on last year’s power consumption saving us a little bit of money too).

A wind farm in Wellington? It’s pure poetry.