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The Green Party’s West Coast-based MP Kevin Hague today lodged a submission in support of a proposed hydro scheme on the Stockton Plateau.
Hydro Developments Ltd has applied for consent to divert water contaminated by mining from the Stockton area into reservoirs and tunnels that will use a 500m drop to sea level to generate approximately 240 gigawatt hours per year.
“The scheme can power more than 30,000 homes,” Hague says “and the Stockton Plateau is heavily modified by coal mining operations so the reservoirs have a small ecological footprint. Diverting polluted water will actually improve water quality in the Ngakawau River.
“This is in contrast to Meridian Energy's proposed hydro dam in the nearby Mokihinui River that would irreversibly impact rainforest and river species. The Stockton scheme shows we don’t need to damn the Mokihinui to satisfy local electricity demand. It completely undermines Meridian's argument.
“Damning the Mokihinui in the face of environmentally-positive alternatives like the Stockton proposal would be bloody-minded vandalism. Meridian should withdraw its proposal which is now patently unnecessary and I invite West Coast Tasman MP Chris Auchinvole to join me in this call.”
While supporting sustainable renewable generation like Stockton Hydro, the Green Party also reiterates the urgent need to pursue energy conservation and efficiency measures such as the $1 billion fund for insulation and clean heating recently dumped by the National Government, Hague says.
“Our submission does identify some aspects of the Stockton Hydro that need to be addressed such as avoiding any risk to Hectors dolphins from discharging the scheme’s water into the sea.”