New Zealand

New Zealand

Three projects for New Zealand east -- On the back of emission trading

While the bulk of New Zealand wind development has been in the windy west of the country, three projects have been announced for the country's eastern region of Hawke's Bay. Local electricity distributor and port management company Eastland Infrastructure is in the early consultation stage of its small Mokairau Wind Farm Project; regional developer Hawkes Bay Wind Farm has plans for 240 MW by 2007; and Unison Networks, a Hawkes Bay electricity distributor, is planning a 120 MW wind farm.

Eastland's Mokairau project is proposed for a site on privately owned farmland north-east of Gisborne. After a decade of site wind measurements, a 30 metre monitoring tower is being replaced by an 80 metre mast to gather more data. Eastland has yet to decide on the number or type of turbines, but three 3 MW or five 1.65 MW Vestas turbines are considered to be in the front-running to produce the planned 27 GWh a year.

Eastland's plan was recently boosted with the awarding of 80,000 Kyoto Protocol emission reduction credits to the project in the second round of New Zealand's Projects to Reduce Emissions Programme. These carbon credit units are tendered for by projects which can demonstrate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. To date, ten million credits have been put up for tender in the program.

The Mokairau Project is expected to achieve abatements of over 80,000 tonnes of CO2 between 2008-2012 after commissioning in early 2007. The company has already announced it will forward-trade its carbon credits to generate funds to offset the initial project costs. At current international prices, that could net the company NZ$1.2 million.

Another would-be regional wind farm developer, Hawkes Bay Wind Farm Ltd (HBWF), is hopeful of being successful in the third tender round for carbon emission credits later this year, seeing the credits as vital in helping to fund the $300 million project. Before it gets there, it will need to gain resource consent from the Hastings District Council. HBWF is looking to put 60-80 turbines generating 240 MW on 2500 hectares of private farmland, supplying power to the national grid by 2007. One of the shareholders in HBWF is Hall Block Resources Ltd, landowner of TrustPower's Tararua Wind Farm. Alistair Wilson, of HWBF shareholder Wind Farm Developments, says they plan to put the turbine supply up for tender, using the Siemens Bonus 2.3 MW as a model.

The third project for the region, planned by Hawkes Bay line company Unison Networks Ltd, is the 120 MW Titiokura Wind Project of 38-42 turbines in the same Te Pohue region as HBWF, north-west of Napier. Unison bought land in the district in 2001 and has measured winds there since 1995. Like Eastland Infrastructure, Unison has a business relationship with Australian wind farm developer Hydro Tasmania. The first stage of the $180 million Titiokura project is currently under a resource consent process and is to consist of 16 turbines generating 48 MW.

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