Thursday, November 03, 2022

More wind

If Aotearoa is going to decarbonise, we're going to need a lot more renewable electricity. And it looks like the industry is stepping up, with the announcement of Aotearoa's first offshore wind farm:

New Zealand’s first offshore wind farm will be built 22km off the coast of South Taranaki by the end of the decade, the $4billion project’s backers say.

The 65-turbine scheme is the first of four offshore wind projects in three regions – Taranaki, Waikato and Southland – planned by a consortium comprising BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate and Elemental Group.

The offshore South Taranaki site, to the west of Beach Energy’s Kupe platform, will be just visible from shore in Patea, Ohawe Beach and Opunake on a clear day.

The turbines, fixed to the sea floor, will generate 900 megawatts (MW) of electricity – enough to power nearly 440,000 homes, it was announced in Hāwera on Wednesday.

900MW would make this the largest wind farm proposed in Aotearoa (Castle Hill was 858 MW, Project Hayes 630 MW, and Hauauru ma raki 540 MW. None of them were ever built). It will be the second-largest power station in New Zealand history, with only Huntly being bigger. Its almost as much generating capacity as every wind farm currently operating in New Zealand. And its going to be one of four.

...which should set us up nicely to hit that target of a 360% increase in wind generation capacity by 2035. We're perfectly capable of generating the renewable electricity required to decarbonise industry and transport. The problem for our climate transition is cows.