News Updates

26 November 2012


While many are now looking towards a Christmas slow down, life at the Edison just seems to get busier by the day!  We're in the thick of commissioning projects, we've got some more Good People to introduce to you and we have a new home for our Auckland office...

Edison Builds Support for Windfarm Projects

The continued interest and investment in wind energy has led us to look more closely at how we can provide better support to our clients in this industry sector.

As Edison’s newly appointed wind farm expert, Barnaby Harris explains, “There are projects in the pipeline and a couple being built but there is still a lot of scope and capacity in the industry. Having a diverse spread of energy generation sources is good risk management for the industry and for New Zealand”

As a specialist in wind farm construction in the UK, Barnaby is looking forward to bringing his experience and knowledge to Edison’s clients here in New Zealand.

“I really focus on optimising the wind farm layout for constructability,” says Barnaby. “There is potential to save significant costs during the construction and commissioning, as well maximising operational output.  Having clear and tightly managed health and safety requirements is also very important with these projects.”

While Barnaby was originally working on land-based wind farms in the UK, most are now built at least 10-15km off-shore, and he was involved in a number of these offshore projects. The offshore wind projects obviously allows a lot more scope and flexibility for the scale and number of turbines which are now so big that they are delivered at sea directly from Germany.

Consenting Service Gains Momentum 

While consent management is already a well-known part of the Edison core capabilities, the introduction of Tim Lester to the team is helping to lift this service for Edison's clients and relevant projects.

Consent management is a highly detailed and varied process that typically consisting of three quite distinct, yet interrelated, phases, including:

  • Pre consenting phase - involves undertaking preliminary site assessments, checking out what is going on, not only within the site, but in the surrounding environment as well.  This phase also includes identifying and engaging with key stakeholders and/or effected parties (i.e., regulators, land owners, Iwi) to gain support for any given project.

  • Consenting phase - involves preparing a clear, concise and timely resource consent application and Assessment of Environmental Effects (or Notice of Requirement in the case of a designation) that is supplemented by technical specialist reporting, and then managing the application as it proceeds through the regulatory assessment process (i.e., Regional and or District Council) for approval with satisfactory consent conditions.

  • Outline plan - In the case of an approved Notice of Requirement (designation), getting detailed construction plans (Outline Plans) approved by the consent authority just prior to construction; and in the case of a resource consent, implementing, monitoring and, when necessary, reporting on consent conditions to ensure compliance with the consent authority.

Unfortunately no project consent is this straight forward.  Therefore, it is critical that whoever is managing the consenting process is proactively working to ensure a project's journey through each phase (and multiple returns to previous phases, in some cases) happens as efficiently as possible. 

Case in point is the fact that some transmission projects must go through a dual consenting process during the second phase.  This involves either obtaining the resource consent and/or a designation ie. notices of requirement.

Tim Lester's expertise and professional networks in the consent process, as well as his ability to understand and translate technical information, will allow Edison to provide a much more efficient service for all clients.  In particular, Tim is qualified and has acted as an expert witness at resource consent hearings.  This next level of advocacy further helps to ensure the consenting process continues as efficiently as possible for everyone involved.

New Good People at Edison

We are very pleased to introduce to you three great guys who have recently joined the team at Edison...

Tautane Nuu

Originally from the Bay of Plenty, Tautane has recently returned to New Zealand after 15 years based in California, USA. Tautane has quite the story to tell. Having left NZ as a fresh-faced electrician, he has come home now as a highly qualified and very experienced engineer.

 “The company I was working for was the second largest utility in the US,” explains Tautane. With an annual expenditure of a billion US dollars per year on infrastructure alone, you start to get a feeling for the incredible scale of projects that Tautane has been involved with over the years.

“I worked on Midway Substation in California which has seven 500kV lines coming into it,” says Tautane. “It’s definitely very different there.”

But with a pregnant wife to consider and a hankering for the good Kiwi lifestyle, Tautane decided to make the move permanently back to New Zealand. His wife is due to have their first baby (a girl) in January, and Tautane is looking forward to putting the fishing gear and snowboard in the storage while they focus on bringing up their baby girl and settling into a new pace of life in Wellington city.

Barnaby Harris

Barnaby has been managing construction and operational projects on wind farms in the UK for the past six years. Tired of having to wait for their regular summer holiday breaks in New Zealand, Barnaby and his Kiwi wife decided to make the move permanently to the Bay of Plenty.

 “We used to come out here every year for about a month to visit my wife’s family, and I would go surfing and fishing around the region,” says Barnaby.

Most of the UK wind farms these days are constructed off-shore. Working off jack-up barges, installing foundations and assembling the turbines 15km off-shore obviously put Barnaby’s construction management skills to the test frequently. Although, by the sounds of it, the guys also knew how to enjoy themselves out there too – apparently there’s some decent fish to catch that far out to sea!

Before re-settling in NZ, Barnaby and his wife did a six month working holiday around the world. Stopping in at South Africa, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia and a 6 week stint working on a wind farm on Ascension Island.

Tim Lester

As a planning and project management professional, Tim Lester joins Edison with over eight years of practical experience in environmental and statuatory planning. 

Having established his career with some very large corporate business in New Zealand, Tim & his partner (now wife) decided to give Australia a try.  "I spent just on three years in Australia working for a similar consulting company to Edison called Gassman Development Perspectives based on the Gold Coast," says Tim.  "We did a lot of Australia specific environmental work such as bushfire assessments, baseline assessments and errosion sediment control auditing."

When he's not in the office or on-site, you will probably find Tim on a nearby cricket pitch.  His on-going love of the sport (playing and watching) is now enjoyed at the twilight cricket business-house league where Tim is on 'The Green Machine' team.  

"We are doing OK so far," Tim reckons. "We win a few, lose a few.  It's not too competitive but I do enjoy it.

New Address for Auckland Office

Please make sure to update your contact details for the Edison office in Auckland.

While our postal address remains the same, you will now find us in a new building at the same Central Park complex on Great South Rd.  Grant and the team are always very welcoming so please feel free to visit our new premises at:

Ground Floor Building 3
Central Office Park
666 Great South Rd

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