Mark is 4Sight’s national sector lead for Renewable Energy, Manager of the company’s Wellington office, an RMA Planner with over 30 years’ experience, and an experienced hearings commissioner. He is a current director of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) and obtained resource consent for Aotearoa’s first commercial wind farm (Haunui) in 1995. He has maintained a keen interest in renewable energy since that time. In 2004 Mark was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to enable study of other countries’ planning systems in relation to wind energy. With regard to 4Sight’s solar projects, he maintains an overview – helping to pull together skills across disciplines that include property, RMA planning, community and iwi engagement, ecology, landscape assessment, and contaminated land management. 4Sight Consulting is now part of SLR Consulting, a global leader in environmental and advisory solutions.
Areas Serviced:Northland Auckland Waikato Bay of Plenty Gisborne Region Hawke's Bay Taranaki Manawatu-Wanganui Wellington Tasman Nelson Marlborough West Coast Canterbury Otago Southland
Providing electricity for approximately 1,000 homes and with roughly 8,000 solar panels over an area of 6.3ha, this project is the first of its kind in the Gisborne region. 4Sight Consulting provided Ecology, Planning, Land Contamination, and Landscape Architecture expertise, specifically:
An ecological site survey and identification of areas for restoration;
Planning advice in terms of feasibility and the resource consent work;
Land contamination analysis as the site has a long history, including being used as a rubbish dump; and
The project itself involves the construction of a 5.2 MWp Solar Farm, battery storage system, and ancillary equipment and is located in the northeastern part of the Gisborne Airport property. Ecological restoration of the Waikanae Stream will also be carried out.
The battery storage system (to be installed later) will provide for approximately 2 MWh of storage, while sheep will graze the land beneath the solar panels.
The project supports New Zealand’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035 and will increase regional energy generation capacity and resilience. In addition, the project will have positive economic effects for the region and result in the improvement of water quality in the Waikanae Stream as a result of ecological restoration.
"A big thank you from the Eastland Group to the Gisborne District Council and 4Sight teams for getting this consent request processed and approved so quickly. Well done! What an excellent early Xmas present. We are looking forward to progressing this project further in 2022... Thanks once again."
- Steven Follows, General Manager Energy Solutions, Eastland Group