Meridian Energy is starting work on its Mill Creek wind farm, which will see Spicer Forest – adjacent to the Spicer Landfill – closed to the public until December 2014. The closure is part of the wind farm consent conditions, which require all construction vehicles to access the wind farm site through the forest.
SpicerForest, other than the Te Araroa national walkway, will be closed to the public from Monday 30 July 2012 when Meridian will start harvesting around two hectares of pine trees to develop an access route from the Porirua end to Ohariu Valley Road. The access route will then be used for vehicles involved with the project to access the wind farm site.
The section of the Te Araroa national walkway, which runs through the forest, will be relocated so it can remain open to the public during construction. Meridian Energy has worked with joint forest owners, Wellington and Porirua city councils, on the closure.
“The forest is closed for the duration of the wind farm construction as a safety precaution,” says Meridian Project Manager, Chris Jones. “The new Te Araroa walkway is well away from the construction access route, so those who use the walkway can do so as safely as possible. The walkway will be accessed from Ohariu Valley Road or from the existing Colonial Knob walkway from Porirua,”
Meridianwill harvest around two hectares of the 73 hectares of forest to develop the wind farm access route. The Mill Creek wind farm, between Ohariu Valley and Wellington’s west coast, will take 30 months to build and will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 30,000 average New Zealand homes.