Protecting our natural environment is of utmost importance to us.
We have engaged leading experts to assess the environmental effects of the project and in particular the turbines (including visuals and noise), and to confirm compliance with accepted industry practice.
Hegley Acoustic Consultants conducted the noise assessment for the turbines.
The maximum proposed noise level has been determined at each existing dwelling on adjacent sites, with the highest noise level at any notional boundary predicted to be 36dB LA90(10min).
The predicted noise at dwellings will therefore be well within the maximum limit specified by NZS 6808 which will protect residents of dwellings from sleep disturbance.
Noise levels will also be measured when the site is operational to confirm accordance with NZS6808:2010
Sheep, cows and horses are not typically disturbed by wind turbines and will graze right up to the base of the towers.
You can read the noise assessment prepared by Hegley Acoustic Consultants here:
Fauna - birds, bats and lizards.
The turbines are located on an operating dairy farm. It consists of repeatedly sown, highly fertilised exotic pasture with some exotic hedge rows and surrounded by a landscape of the same. The electrolysers are located within the existing Ballance facility.
A bird survey was undertaken during the North migratory period confirming that the site is not a key route for migratory birds and the north south orientation of turbines reduces risk of migratory bird strike. The studies found that the site has no unique features from an indigenous flora and fauna perspective.
A bat monitoring program was completed with analysis of recordings provides no evidence of bats at the sites.
Actual and potential adverse effects on bird, bat and terrestrial ecology have been assessed to be negligible with no mitigation, monitoring or offset measures necessary.
If habitat such as hedges are required to be removed, a lizard survey will be undertaken with a management plan developed where lizards are found.
Read the Boffa Miskell Ecological Impact Assessment here
Furthermore, an independent review of this assessment has been carried out and can be found here
Fresh water is required to produce hydrogen at the Ballance Kapuni site. The current Ballance Plant water take is sourced predominantly from the Waingongoro River.
The maximum expected water consumption for the electrolysis process associated with the project is 40 m³/day.
This equates to a very small percentage of Ballance’s total consented water take i.e. ~1%.
This also equates to a very small percentage of the Waingongoro minimum flow rate (0.04%). The minimum Waingongoro water flowrate is ~100,000 m3/day.
The water consumption is also significantly less than required for a dairy farm (50-100m3 for non irrigated or ~1000m3 for an irrigated farm).
In addition, the project is investigating the use of wastewater from the Ballance site as a feedstock.
Water use will be reported to the STDC as part of the Ballance site water use consent
The Kapuni project accelerates a just transition to a low emissions economy by reducing both New Zealand and global carbon emissions in our manufacturing process, from heavy haulage transportation and agriculture nutrients. By combining existing ammonia urea plant infrastructure with emerging green hydrogen technology, decarbonisation opportunities are enabled.
Hydrogen from the project will be used to decarbonise the heavy transport sector. Heavy vehicles produce grossly disproportionate emissions with large line haul trucks generating over 100 times the emission of an average light vehicle. With the full hydrogen production used for heavy transport, annual diesel consumption will be reduced by 4.4 million liters equating to 11,700 Tonnes of CO2.
This project will enable commercially viable hydrogen production to replace the highest emitting vehicles with zero emission solutions to accelerate transitions to a low emission economy. The commercially viable hydrogen is provided through a combination of low-cost energy and critical hydrogen offtake to support investment in world scale electrolysis.
In addition, the project also supports the production of urea with significantly reduced carbon emissions over both the status quo and other alternatives, replacing ~7,000kg imported urea which is typically made from natural gas in the Gulf States or from coal in China.
The site is also a functioning dairy farm and so soil management during the construction of the turbines and the restoration is important.
The Contaminated Site Management Plan outlines how soil will be managed during the project.