More than half a billion dollars will be spent on sinking tidal power turbines to the seabed of the Kaipara Harbour after the approval of New Zealand's first tide-driven power station.
But the Environment Court has set conditions of consent for the project after a year of mediation among four objectors.
The key requirement for applicant Crest Energy is two years of environmental monitoring and evaluation and starting with only three turbines.
The company wants to sink up to 200 turbines off the harbour mouth in a $600 million plan to harness the swift tidal flow to power homes from Albany to Cape Reinga.
It appealed to the court in 2008 when Northland Regional Council allowed only 100 turbines to be sunk.
Cross-posted from Peak Energy.