Port Waikato wind farm
The New Zealand Wind Energy Association said Contact Energy’s announcement that it intends to build a wind farm in the Waikato will help the Government reach its goal of 90% renewable electricity without building new gas-fired power plants. The farm is expected to generate up to 650 MW of electricity for Waikato and Auckland consumers.
Wind Energy Association Chief Executive Fraser Clark said wind energy was a serious alternative to non-renewable generation in the Waikato-Auckland area, particularly given the security of supply issues in the region.
“Security of supply in the region, where electricity demand is the highest in the country, has been a significant concern for some time. This project is capable of generating more than 20% of the electricity currently generated from gas. That’s equivalent to a large-scale gas-fired generator. The big difference is that the Contact Energy wind farm does not produce the carbon emissions that cause climate change. The benefits of this project are undeniable. Not only will it go a long way to meeting the objectives of the Government’s Energy Strategy by contributing a significant increase in renewable electricity generation but it will also increase security of supply by diversifying the region’s range of generation sources”, Mr Clark said.
The New Zealand Energy Strategy also expressed a desire by the Government to reduce barriers for consenting renewable projects.
Minister Parker said he was very confident of getting more generation capacity from wind, perhaps even a seven-fold increase. “It is now over to the Government to help Contact build the wind farm by reducing the barriers to consenting renewable projects”, Mr Clark said.