TrustPower's application for resource consent for its proposed 46MW Arnold hydro generation scheme has been publicly notified by the Grey District and West Coast Regional Councils in New Zealand.

TrustPower – New Zealand’s fourth largest electricity retailer – lodged its resource consent application for the Arnold scheme on 3 April 2006. The proposed scheme, with a capacity of up to 46MW and an annual output of 220GWh, has evolved out of TrustPower’s original Dobson generation proposal. It is designed to assist the West Coast meet growing electricity demand, and improve efficiency through reduced electricity losses from transmission.

Under the Arnold proposal, which has a projected cost of $185M, water will be drawn from the Arnold river at the existing Arnold dam, and conveyed to a storage pond and power station before being discharged back to the Arnold river via a regulation pond.

TrustPower Chief Executive Keith Tempest says public notification of the resource consent application represents another milestone after many years of effort to bring adequate generation to the people of the West Coast region.

‘We believe we have a proposal that will meet the needs of the region, both in terms of generating electricity, and maintaining a good balance between development and the protection of social, environmental, recreational and cultural values,’ he said.

Closing date for submissions is 19 January 2007, after which the councils will determine the timing sequence for resource consent hearings.

Full copies of the application can be viewed at the respective council offices in Greymouth, the Grey District Library, the Runanga and Lake Brunner Service Centres, and the Christchurch City Council Libraries. Information is also available on the TrustPower web site, and from a joint council website which can be accessed via www.arnoldpower.co.nz