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Financial injection for local turbine supplier
1 July 2007
A capital injection of NZ$75 million for NZ Windfarms is expected to help it get project development moving. The sum represents a significant increase on the NZ$4 million the company began with in December 2005. The renewable energy generator is using 500 kW turbines produced locally by its former parent company, Windflow Technology, in its Te Rere Hau wind farm, which is half owned by Australian energy company NP Power and wind farm investor Babcock & Brown, which trades on the Australian stock exchange. The project's first stage has seen five turbines installed, operating consistently above their promised 95% cumulative availability since the start of December. Another 14 turbines have been ordered, with the full project planned to have 97 turbines. A further six sites are under investigation with the potential for wind farms of 10-40 MW. NZ Windfarms and Windflow have maintained that the relatively small Windflow turbines are more in keeping with the scale of the New Zealand environment than larger foreign turbines. They also say there are environmental advantages in placing a lighter construction and maintenance load on wind farm sites. The smaller-scale distributed approach has appealed to lines company Vector Ltd, which has contributed NZ$18 million, or just under 20% of the equity, with possible involvement in future capital raising. The boost to business has seen NZ Windfarms recently list on the main board of the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
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