Oil and gas company Beach Energy has accepted the Doppler Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system on its Kupe platform, off South Taranaki, New Zealand, which will provide the data needed for the development of offshore wind farms in the region.

An agreement to this effect has been signed between BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate and the Elemental Group consortium, Beach Energy New Zealand (Beach) and other offshore wind developers. The consortium plans to build four offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 5 GW.

The LiDAR, which will be installed on the Kupe platform, measures a number of key data points that are essential for developers in planning their projects, such as wind speed, direction and consistency.

According to Energy Estate, Beach has agreed to share this 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 uncertainty about future offshore wind development in the region,” said carlos martinCEO of BlueFloat Energy on a recent trip to New Zealand.
“This opens the door to a new spirit of collaboration where we can discuss the potential of shared infrastructure, transmission corridors and offshore transmission networks.

“Our consortium wants to create an inclusive offshore wind energy industry – not just projects. contribute directly to the community and local economy, generating jobs, skills, training and opportunities throughout the supply chain. We appreciate Beach showing leadership in this area, and we are optimistic about the bright future of the industry in Taranaki,” added Martin.

First offshore wind turbines in water by the end of the decade

The consortium said it has spent the past two years studying the feasibility of offshore wind and engaging with key stakeholders and is “confident that Aotearoa [Māori-language name for New Zealand] offers great potential for offshore wind energy.”

Subject to the establishment of the regulatory framework and the obtaining of all the necessary authorizations, the first wind turbines are expected to be in the water before the end of the decade.

“New Zealand is blessed with world-class offshore wind resources and the development potential of the offshore wind industry here is huge,” said the co-founder of Energy Estate Simon Currie present at New Zealand Wind Energy Wānanga on the sustainable benefits of offshore wind.

“Having met with government, business, mana whenua and industry, I am very confident that there is a genuine need and desire to grow the industry here in a way that benefits the whole community. “, added Currie.

“The benefit of creating an offshore wind energy sector here in New Zealand is clear,” says Elemental Group Director Nick Jackson. “Offshore wind power can provide a clean source of renewable energy to power businesses and homes across the country. It will help help New Zealand meet its net zero commitments and provide significant investment in new jobs, training and skills development. Following our Haumoana: Offshore Wind Capacity Building in New Zealand report published last year, we see this collaboration as a continuation of the necessary set of industry development initiatives.

Four offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 5 GW

The consortium unveiled at the 2022 Wind Energy Association Wānanga on Tuesday its plans to develop four offshore wind projects across Aotearoa in Taranaki, Southland and Waikato with the potential to generate up to 5 GW of electricity.

The consortium said it believed that offshore wind power can help achieve 600% renewable energy in Aotearoa and will complement other renewables like hydro, onshore wind, solar, and geothermal, opening up opportunities for new ventures like green hydrogen, e-fuels, and innovations to decarbonize industrial processes.

Justine Gilliland, director of partnerships for the consortium said: “We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us to develop a new value-added industry with offshore wind energy. Our consortium is committed to respecting our development principles. We are focused on meaningful engagement and collaboration with Iwi and key stakeholders, including unions, industry, training providers and communities, on projects that deliver sustainable growth and lasting benefits to our communities. ‘welcome.”


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