Thu July 15th 2021

Simon Berry attends the official opening of a new geothermal power station, near Kaikohe, for Top Energy Limited.

On 9 July, Simon Berry attended the official opening by the Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis, of a new geothermal power station at Ngawha, near Kaikohe.

Simon and Craig Malone acted for Far North electricity network provider, Top Energy Limited, in securing the consents for the station. Despite significant issues with iwi and the Department of Corrections (the station is near the Northland Correctional Facility), appeals were settled without the need for a hearing.

The 32MW station is of significant strategic importance in that it already generates enough electricity to power all of Northland, with sufficient excess to export it south to Auckland on the National Grid.

“Craig and I both enjoy the challenges associated with consenting a geothermal project and were pleased to be involved in a project that will have such significant benefits for the Far North. It was a thrill to attend the opening of the station after a long and difficult battle to secure Top Energy’s consents. The lawyers are often forgotten by the time construction is completed,” said Simon Berry.

A second station of the same size, which was consented at the same time, is yet to be constructed. Plans are afoot for an innovation park that will be able to provide heat to industry (e.g., wood processing, aquaculture) and create employment in the same way that geothermal heat / steam is utilised in Kawerau.

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