New Zealand – New wind energy plant adds power to the economy

“The new Te Uku wind farm showcases the benefits that wind power provides to our economy,” says Fraser Clark, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association.

“The wind farm’s Waikato location helps to highlight how our natural resources, including the wind, create a competitive economic advantage. Te Uku, like New Zealand’s other wind farms, will be among the most productive in the world, making good use of a high quality wind resource to generate cost-effective electricity.

“Te Uku also demonstrates that wind turbines not only support other economic activity such as agriculture and tourism, but integrate into it. The new wind farm sits on productive Waikato farmland and overlooks the popular and scenic Raglan coast,” says Mr Clark.

“As a low cost and secure source of electricity that complements other local activities, the wind farm will help drive the region’s and nation’s future economic success.”

Te Uku is one of four wind farms currently being built. When these projects are complete wind power capacity will sit at 623 MW, and supply around 5% of our electricity.

The activity at the four wind farm sites represents over $300 million of direct investment, of which more that $30 million has been spent in the Waikato.

“As wind farms have no fuel costs and create no carbon emissions, this investment will result in cost-effective generation for the next 20 years and beyond. As well, this growth in wind power total generation will add diversity to the electricity system, reducing the effects of the risks and uncertainties associated with hydro and thermal generation,” concludes Mr Clark.