Thursday 4th May 2023
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Energy Minister Dr Megan Woods cut the ribbon to ceremonially “switch on” New Zealand’s biggest wind farm today.
- Mercury’s Turitea Wind Farm in Manawatū adds 2% additional renewable energy to the country’s National Grid.
- New Zealand’s largest wind farm will produce on average 840GWh each year, enough to power 120,000 households or 375,000 EVs.
- Mercury has a strong pipeline of renewable development and is well positioned to continue developing renewable projects at pace.
“New Zealand’s biggest wind farm is open for business, and we’re keeping up the pace with more new renewables in construction, consented, and in the planning stages,” said Vince Hawksworth, Chief Executive.
“The energy sector is key to New Zealand’s low emissions future, and that’s reflected in the massive amount of investment in the sector. Mercury invested nearly half billion dollars in to the Turitea Wind Farm and that’s just one example of the commitment from across the sector in building new renewable generation,” said Vince.
Representatives of mana whenua Rangitāne o Manawatū, local government and community, and key contractors attended the event, three and a half years after the ground-breaking in October 2019.
“A mighty team effort has landed this huge wind farm,” said Vince. “Turitea is a site of exceptional wind quality, and our teams rose to the challenge of constructing 60 turbines and transmission infrastructure on its slopes. Over 2,500 people have worked together on this project to bring this new electricity to New Zealand.”
Mercury takes a long-term view when it comes to significant investment in new electricity generation, and this includes our commitment to custodianship of this site. We acknowledge and thank Rangitāne, Department of Conservation, our ecology specialists Wildlands, and the construction teams for the care they have taken to safeguard the environment during construction.
The $465m project was announced in 2019 the same year the government passed the Zero Carbon Act that set up a framework to achieve the aims of the 2015 Paris Agreement, including a target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane) to net zero by 2050.
Turitea’s 33 northern turbines have been generating to the Grid since December 2021, and the southern 27 turbines are coming on stream with full operation scheduled for June. Our next project will be the 43MW Kaiwera Downs Stage I, currently under construction near Gore, with commissioning scheduled for late this year. Our pipeline of further projects is almost equivalent in size to Mercury’s existing generation portfolio with over 8,000GWh either in construction, consented or in consenting.
Capacity and output - 840GWh annually, enough to power 120,000 households or 375,000 EVs
Turbines - 60 turbines, measuring 125m from ground to blade tip. Each blade is 55m long.
Transmission - The 220kV transmission line and grid connection to Linton that will also cater for future development of the consented Puketoi wind farm to the east
Contractors - Vestas-New Zealand Wind Technology Limited, a local subsidiary of Vestas Wind Systems A/S was contracted to construct and maintain the combined Turitea wind farm development (engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract and long-term service and availability agreement)
Electrix and Transpower were contracted for the design and construction of the 220kV transmission line and grid connection to Linton.
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