Pines could convert to energy source
Potential future electricity sources in the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts will be explored at a public forum next week. The two district councils, the Department of Conservation and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority have commissioned a study on the possibility of using renewable energy sources, such as wilding pines, in the region. Local businesses and organisations have been surveyed on their energy use and their interest in switching to a renewable source. Wanaka’s swimming pool, Mt Difficulty winery and Dunstan High School were among examples of local facilities which had switched from using coal to heat spaces and water, to using wood. But despite the abundance of pesky wilding pines in the area, the wood chips they used were trucked in from forests. The forum would discuss the region’s energy use, along with the past, present and future supply of energy and how it may be affected. The speakers would include energy consultant Lloyd McGinty on the potential for using wilding pines as a source and two solar energy specialists, Yevrah Ornstein and Scott Jones. Task force volunteers would also be sought to develop the ideas further, before presenting their recommendations mid year. The forum is open and organisers hoped people with interests in potential energy sources, or with views and expertise on traditional sources, would attend.
What: Energy forum to discuss the region’s current and future energy needs and how they may be sustainably met Pumped up: Healthy hearts were the focus of Valentine’s Day for the young pupils of Arrowtown Early Learning Centre who wore red and spent the day learning about healthy hearts, good food and exercise. Teacher Alice Orr said the children had dressed in red and they had a voluntary gold coin donation to raise funds for the Heart Foundation. ‘‘We’ve been learning about what makes a healthy heart and talking about the importance of good food and exercise.’’ Above, Chloe Ireland, 3, feeding her brother Cooper Ireland, 2, an apple, while Fehn Cox, 3, cuts his healthy treats in the background.