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1. Introduction

Contact Energy Limited is proposing to build a new geothermal power station in the Wairakei-Tauhara Geothermal Field in an area known as ‘Te Mihi’ near Taupo.

The proposal will involve a number of associated activities including a new transmission line, a new switchyard, air discharges, and discharges to land and groundwater.

The resource consents applied for are listed below.

In January 2008 the Minister for the Environment, Hon Trevor Mallard called in the matters relating to Contact’s Te Mihi geothermal power station proposal, under section 141B of the Resource Management Act 1991, and referred the matters to a Board of Inquiry.

The resource consent applications for the Te Mihi proposal were publicly notified by the Minister on the 9 February 2008 and submissions called for. Receipt of submissions closed at 5.00pm on Friday 7 March 2008.

The Minister received 24 submissions on Contact’s Te Mihi proposal. In accordance with the Resource Management Act, submissions were provided to the Board of Inquiry.

This document provides a summary of the submissions received on Contact’s Te Mihi proposal. The full submissions are available as PDF files on the Ministry for the Environment’s website.

Taupo District Council

Application No. RM 070304: To construct, operate and maintain all structures and facilities associated with a geothermal power station on the Wairakei-Tauhara Geothermal System and including all ancillary equipment, except the new switchyard and 220kV transmission line equipment described in separate but associated land-use consent applications.

Application No. RM 070305: To construct, operate and maintain a new switchyard associated with, and adjacent to a new geothermal power station.

Application No. RM 070299: To construct, operate and maintain a 220kV transmission line, associated support structures, equipment and facilities, associated with a new geothermal power station on the Wairakei-Tauhara Geothermal System, including realignment of a section of the existing Poihipi Road Power Station transmission line and modification works necessary to enable connection of the new line to the existing Wairakei-Whakamaru B transmission line.

Environment Waikato

Discharges to land and groundwater

Discharges to land and groundwater

Application No. WRC 116786: Discharge Permit to discharge up to 95 kilotonnes per day of geothermal water, steam condensate, cooling water blow-down, suspended material, and added chemicals into land and underground water through reinjection wells within the Wairakei-Tauhara Geothermal System (the area within the yellow boundary shown on Plan 124922-RC01 but excluding the yellow hatched areas).

Application No. WRC 116787: Discharge Permit to discharge by irrigation up to 6,500 tonnes per day of cooling water blow-down and condensate onto land (and any seepage into underground water).

Application No. WRC 116788: Discharge Permit to discharge up to 50 cubic metres per day of water including contaminants and sewage into land and underground water through septic tanks and associated soakage facilities.

Discharges to air

Discharges to air

Application No. WRC 116789: Discharge permit to discharge contaminants to air from a geothermal power station and associated structures.

Application No. WRC 116790: Discharge permit to discharge contaminants to air from the Poihipi Road Geothermal Power Station and associated structures including geothermal wells, pipelines and geothermal steamfield equipment, to commence on 1 January 2012.

Application No. WRC 116791: Discharge permit to discharge contaminants to air from geothermal wells, flash plants, pipelines and all associated geothermal steamfield equipment within the Wairakei-Tauhara Geothermal System.