in Palmerston North
a recent trip through the central part of New Zealand's North Island
we came across the biggest wind farms in the southern hemisphere
and they looked utterly spectacular.
farms are on Saddle Rd near Woodville and straddle the Tararua mountain
range north of Palmerston North.
all there are 158 of the 70 metre high turbines and they sit like
giant children's windmills on the horizon.
look amazing from a distance but you can drive right up under one
and get to experience just how phenomenal they are.
triple blades on these giants are 35 metres long and spin around
with a fantastic whooshing sound that really piques the senses.
That's the only noise you hear and you wonder why people would object
to such a sensibly green energy option.
of the turbines can produce 1.65 megawatts of power, enough to cover
the needs of up to 900 average homes.
is created when the winds spins the rotor blades and that in turn
drives the turbines.
triple blade unit can rotate at up to 17 times a minute, although
that does depend upon the wind speed.
are electronically controlled by computers that monitor their performance
and the current conditions and if the winds get too high then the
turbines will be automatically shut down.
farmland they are on covers just over 1100 hectares and to our way
of thinking the wind turbines were not eyesores but majestic machines.
older turbines can make a bit more noise than the ones at Te Apiti
- often described as tonal or musical - but the newer models have
a soothing appeal that is hard to describe.
can just picture them along a gusty coast where they would not only
be a tourist attraction but would greatly help us reduce our energy
consumption. They are efficient and still look fantastic!
car park for Te Apiti is on Saddle Rd between Woodville and Ashurst
and is open between 8.30am and 5pm every day. It is a site well
worth taking time out to see.