Wind Farms

Best Practice Review for Managing Wind Farms complete

As part of the Wind Farms component of the Rural Area Review project, Porirua City Council has commissioned and received a report prepared by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd on best practice for managing commercial-scale wind farms under the Resource Management Act 1991.

The report reviewed district plans nationwide and international best practice, as well as reviewing existing resource consents for wind farms in New Zealand.

The report identifies the environmental impacts of wind farms to help guide preparation of policy for the appropriate balance between avoidance or mitigation of adverse effects, and the benefits to be derived from use of renewable energy resources.

In summary, the effects of wind farms identified by the report include:
Landscape and visual effects

  • Sensitive uses; noise, vibration, shadow, flickering
  • Ecological effects; bird/bat strike, habitat loss and displacement
  • Transport effects; traffic, construction transport, aviation, traffic generation
  • Land use effects; land use sensitivity and wind-take
  • Economic effects; tourism, electricity generation
  • Construction effects
  • Utilities
  • Renewable energy and greenhouse gas effects
  • Cultural values and heritage effects

The report recommends in the first instance that the Council instigate a change to the Porirua City District Plan in the near future in order to introduce general policy and provisions for considering applications for commercial-scale wind farms.  The report also recommends taking a longer-term strategic view of wind farm management by way of more careful consideration of landscape issues, with a possibility of further plan changes once detailed analysis of wind farm landscape catchments has been undertaken.

Download and print:

The Council is considering whether to proceed with the recommendations in the report.

For further information about the Wind Farm component of the Rural Area Review, please contact Peter Matich, or (04) 237 1498.