Marine energy in New Zealand

New Zealand’s huge potential for generating electricity through marine energy will be explored with three different marine energy projects.

Acting Energy Minister Hekia Parata says they will be a significant help in reaching the Government’s target of 90% renewable energy electricity by 2025.

The marine energy projects are a wave energy device at Stewart Island, a cable linking to another device at Wellington’s Moa Point and turbines at Parnell Baths in Auckland.

Ms Parata says there are an estimated 8000 megawatts of marine energy resources available, which is nearly as much as the current capacity of 9600 megawatts.The New Zealand government will award a total of NZ$876,884 in grants to three marine energy projects, it said in a website statement.

Wave Energy Technology New Zealand Ltd. will receive NZ$361,884 to install a cable at its test site on Wellington’s south coast, while Community Leisure Management Ltd. will get NZ$203,000 to install as many as three turbines to harness tidal flows in and out of Hobson Bay. Tangaroa Energy Rakia Amps Ltd. will get NZ$312,000 to produce a 20-kilowatt wave energy device that will be deployed in the eastern waters of Stewart Island.

The projects will get funding of almost $900,000 and are expected to be built within two years. Meanwhile, funding has been withdrawn for a separate tidal stream generator at Kaipara Harbour after the company involved, Crest Energy, failed to meet timelines.