MADRID — An agreement between BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate and Elemental Group (the consortium), Beach Energy New Zealand and other offshore wind developers is a significant step forward to developing the offshore wind industry in New Zealand.
Beach has agreed to the installation of a Doppler Light Detection and Ranging system (LiDAR) on the Beach-operated Kupe platform offshore South Taranaki. The LiDAR measures a number of key datapoints that are critical for developers in planning their projects such as wind speed, direction and consistency. Beach has agreed to share these data with multiple offshore wind developers, reducing the need for duplication and bringing a new collaborative dimension to this nascent energy sector.
“This initiative will allow us to assess wind resources in South Taranaki and reduce uncertainties for the future development of offshore wind in the region,” said BlueFloat CEO Carlos Martin during a recent trip to New Zealand. “It opens the door for a new spirit of collaboration where we can discuss the potential for shared infrastructure, transmission corridors and offshore transmission networks."
The consortium has spent the last two years studying the feasibility of offshore wind and engaging with key stakeholders and is confident that Aotearoa offers great potential for offshore wind energy.
Subject to the regulatory framework being in place and obtaining all necessary approvals, the first turbines are expected in the water before the end of the decade.
The consortium plans to develop four offshore wind projects across Aotearoa in Taranaki, Southland and Waikato with the potential to generate up to 5 GW of power.
Th consortium believes that offshore wind energy can help achieve 600% renewable energy in Aotearoa and will complement other renewable energies like hydro, onshore wind, solar and geothermal, opening up possibilities for new businesses like green hydrogen, e-fuels and innovations to decarbonize industrial processes.