The proposed South Taranaki wind project marks the first among the four planned offshore wind projects by the JV, with the potential to add up to 5GW of new clean energy generation, and will be designed using fixed bottom technology
A consortium comprising Spanish wind developer BlueFloat Energy is planning to build an offshore wind farm project, 22kms off the coast of South Taranaki, New Zealand.
The consortium also includes Australian renewable energy company Energy Estate, and New Zealand-based energy developer Elemental.
The proposed South Taranaki wind project marks the first among the four planned offshore wind projects by the JV, with the potential to add up to 5GW of new clean energy generation.
It will be designed as a 900MW offshore wind farm, located to the west of Beach Energy’s Kupe platform in the South Taranaki Bight, and will use fixed bottom technology.
JV partnerships director Justine Gilliland said: “Offshore wind can deliver green energy at scale for Aotearoa for New Zealand’s medium and long-term future but needs to be done in a way that protects diversity and promotes restoration and regeneration of the marine environment.
“Offshore Wind will be an important part of the future energy mix in Aotearoa and will help the country meet its net zero targets. South Taranaki is an obvious choice as it has a best-in-class wind resource and a skilled local workforce with decades of experience working offshore.
“We are committed to developing the industry sustainably and are already engaging with environmental and local experts to understand how we can mitigate potential risks to marine mammals, seabirds and the coastal environment.”
The site was identified through the ‘Offshore Wind Discussion Paper’ published by Venture Taranaki in April 2020, based on its unique characteristics and environmental conditions.
According to the study, the site has adequate area to build several offshore wind farms by different developers, which would be compatible with each other.
The proposed site spans around 230kms2 area, outside the boundaries of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary and the sensitive eco-system of the Patea Reef.
It is close to Port Taranaki, the only deep-water port on the west coast in New Plymouth, allowing easy access to build, import and transport materials.
With relatively flat sea floor with a water depth of less than 50m is suitable for fixed-bottom turbines, the site has access to skilled local workforce with experience in offshore energy sector.
The offshore wind project is expected to create at least 600 jobs during its construction, operation, and maintenance, with further opportunities throughout the supply chain.
It is currently in the feasibility stage, with plans to commence construction before 2030.