November 29, 2023

New projects see wind generation breeze to record levels

New projects see wind generation breeze to record levels

The amount of wind generation in New Zealand reached record levels this month as new projects from ERANZ members came online, official data shows, helping build a sustainable future for all Kiwis.

The Electricity Authority (EA) said the share of weekly generation coming from wind for the week starting November 12 across New Zealand was 13.3%, compared to an average 6.0% in 2022.

The proportion was partially boosted by first power flowing through Meridian’s Harapaki wind farm and the opening of Mercury’s Kaiwera Downs stage 1 wind farms.

Harapaki, the country’s second largest wind farm, will be able to power the equivalent of 70,000 homes when it is fully operational in September next year, while Kaiwera Downs 1 is now producing enough renewable energy to power over 20,000 homes.

Mercury GM Portfolio Phil Gibson said Kaiwera Downs 1 was an example of the commitment across the electricity sector for a low-emissions future.

“The electricity sector is making headway in investing in renewable generation, which is vital for enabling the electrification and decarbonisation of the economy,” he said.

ERANZ members are playing a key role in the move to a zero-carbon by 2050, with market analysts estimating that their investments in renewable generation over the next five years will be well over $4 billion.

Wind power’s increasing share comes from a combination of more wind generation capacity and lower electricity demand as the weather warms up.

It’s also worth remembering that it’s a windy time of the year and the EA says while average wind generation last week was the highest it’s ever been, there were a few times when it was a lot higher or lower than expected.

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