Outlook bright for New Zealand wind despite Hayes setback

The 143MW West Wind, near Wellington

The 143MW West Wind, near Wellington

Despite news that a wind project capable of powering every home on New Zealand’s South Island has been scrapped, the industry is confident it can surpass government expectations and increase capa­city more than fourfold over the next 18 years.

The Ministry of Economic Development estimates that capa­city will increase from the current 622MW to about 1.41GW, and produce close to 10% of the country’s electricity by 2030.

But Eric Pyle, chief executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA), says the official estimate undershoots the number of wind farms that will be built.

“[Government estimates] are great news for New Zealanders, as wind-generated electri­city keeps power bills down and helps with hydro-lake levels,” says Pyle. “But our analysis suggests that wind will be even more important than that, producing Log in to read complete article.

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