Monday, 23 May 2011

Waitati Energy Project

By Scott Willis

Wind Testing
Under the guidance of technical expert Matt Buchan on behalf of Our
Wind Limited, a group of us raised the 10 metre tower (with testing
equipment on it) on a brisk day recently (Friday the 13th! May). OWL,
in supplying the tower and analysis, is enabling the crucial technical
aspects of the wind cluster project. And I was impressed to see Basil
Ireland, Laurence Hay and Gerry Thompson, all grandfathers, wielding
the sledgehammer and rammer more competently than men half their ages.
Along with Xavier and myself, it took us all three hours to prepare
and raise the tower, ensure monitoring had begun, and animal-proofing
the site on the Robertson's family farm above Warrington.
As soon as it was up, and systems tested, Matt was able to tell us
that the wind, at 10 metres above the ground was blowing at a very
healthy eight metres per second. However the wind at ground level did
not seem very strong at all and I was excited that now we can begin to
get some very precise wind data at a very promising site. Testing will
take time, and our knowledge will grow week by week, barring any
incidents. Fortunately, we have a wealth of knowledge already and this
information will enhance what we are now gathering on-site. I'll be
giving regular updates on wind results in these columns and more often
in email updates. Meanwhile, thanks to an EECA contract in process
we're now able to enlist some planning assistance and, Ross Johnston
(BRCT trustee) and I are working on getting all the energy action and
investigations done of the past few years into a presentable public
format.

Solar Saver model
Thank you to all who put in submissions to the DCC's Draft Annual Plan
(DAP) on Solar Saver. This council is much more responsive to its
communities than we've experienced in the past and for those keeping
an eye on DAP outcomes in the ODT, did you see 'Briefs' on Thursday
May 12? There it was reported that DCC staff are now working to get
the Solar Saver model (a targeted rates bill to allow solar hot water
installations) broadened and used to invest in options for making all
households more sustainable, not only through solar hot water, but
also insulation, solar PV, rainwater tanks, etc. This is a great
outcome for all Dunedin.

Contact WEP at 03 482 2048 or email: waitatienergy@gmail.com

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