Wednesday 24th February 2021
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Meridian Energy will soon begin construction of a new $395 million wind farm in Hawke’s Bay, boosting New Zealand’s ability to take action on climate change and accelerating the transformation of the economy to clean energy sources.
The Harapaki Wind Farm will be New Zealand’s second-largest wind farm with 41 turbines generating 176 MW of renewable energy, enough to power over 70,000 average households. The construction will take around three years and is expected to create 260 new jobs.
Meridian Energy Chief Executive Neal Barclay says the decision to commence construction now is a sign of confidence that clean energy infrastructure can deliver strong economic benefits.
“Renewable generation is an engine of economic growth for New Zealand. There’s a massive clean energy transformation underway in the New Zealand economy and now is the time to tackle climate action to support Aotearoa accelerate its transition away from fossil fuels.
“We need to move faster to convert our fossil fuel industries to clean energy, convert our transport fleet to electricity and ensure every new industrial development is powered by clean energy.”
Mr Barclay says New Zealand will need to build more grid-scale wind generation every year to reach its international and domestic emissions targets and meet demand as transportation and industry move from fossil fuels to clean energy.
“Recent advice from He Pou a Rangi, the Climate Change Commission, clearly signals that New Zealand must ambitiously pursue bold climate goals to achieve net-zero emissions, and this is what getting there looks like. Building more new renewable generation like Harapaki will help us lower emissions, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and speed up our transition to a productive low carbon economy,” Mr Barclay says.
Meridian is the country’s largest and most experienced owner of wind farms, with five currently in operation around New Zealand. Mr Barclay says Harapaki will use advanced wind generation technology from Europe to set new benchmarks for turbine efficiency and sustainable construction practices. Design reviews have lowered the amount of concrete and steel needed in construction, reducing the overall carbon footprint of the project by over 30%. “Our vision is for Harapaki to be New Zealand’s most sustainable wind farm and one that delivers transformative economic growth and advances our goals for climate action,” Barclay says.
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