Sea to provide power for 250,000 homes

(Photo Credit: Brett Phibbs) NZ Herald - By Wayne Thompson - Jan 11, 2010 The turbines could be fully operational within nine years, generating enough power to supply 250,000 homes.

A tidal power station on the Kaipara Harbour seafloor could be providing power to a quarter of a million homes by the end of the decade.

The Environment Court has made a positive recommendation to Conservation Minister Tim Groser on a plan to generate electricity from the harbour's swift tidal flow.

The approval is subject to fine-tuning of consent conditions.

Crest Energy plans to spend $600 million on sinking 200 tidal power turbines to the seabed of the harbour entrance, creating New Zealand's first tide-driven power station.

The project will start with 20 turbines.

Last month, Todd Energy said it was taking a 30 per cent stake in Crest, which aims to be fully operational within nine years generating 200MW of power, enough to supply 250,000 homes.

But in an interim decision, the Environment Court says Crest Energy must do further work, mainly to satisfy concerns about the turbines interfering with the critically endangered Maui's dolphin and the important snapper fishery on the west coast of the North Island...MORE...

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