Mainpower’s consent application for a wind farm on the Mt Cass ridge above Waipara (and on my skyline) has been turned down [HDC news, PDF of judgement, earlier posts: one, two, three.]. The commissioners found that arguments that the Mt Cass ridge was a site of nationally significant ecological value outweighed the benefits of the renewable energy generated and jobs created. Mainpower managing director Alan Berge was “deeply disappointed”, according to The Press, but conservationists were predictably pleased (I know a few who’ll be celebrating tonight). It remains to be seen whether Mainpower will either appeal the decision, or prepare a revised scheme that takes into account the commissioners findings. On my quick reading of the judgement, it looks as though they might have been able to consent a scheme which took better account of the ridge layout, avoiding sensitive areas, and which was more definite about the types of turbine to be used and the turbine sites. One of Hot Topic‘s regular readers, Andrew H(urley), the project manager, will no doubt keep us informed.