Simon Berry and Craig Malone acted for the Far North electricity generation and lines company, Top Energy, to obtain the RMA authorisations required to carry out a 50MW expansion of its existing geothermal power station at Ngawha, near Kaikohe.
The two new geothermal power stations will each generate 25MW. This will increase the generation capacity of the Ngawha facility to 75MW, which is enough to meet the Far North's electricity needs and have some left over to export south.
In line with Top Energy's community aspirations, the company hopes the expanded facility will help attract other industries, such as wood processing, to the area in order to create a significant number of new jobs.
Craig Malone says, "Simon and I both have a lot of experience consenting geothermal developments. They all tend to be challenging due to the complex technical issues which arise. This one was no exception, particularly given initial significant opposition by iwi on cultural and spiritual grounds. We were therefore very pleased to get the project through on terms favourable to Top Energy without the need for a substantive Environment Court hearing, despite an appeal."
Media coverage: The Northern Advocate and The Northland Age