Siemens to supply wind turbines for new Meridian wind farm

Siemens will supply and erect the wind turbines for the country’s newest wind farm, to be built for Meridian Energy Ltd at Mill Creek north of Wellington.

The Mill Creek wind farm will comprise 26 2.3MW wind turbines able to provide the equivalent energy to power 30,000 average New Zealand households.

Siemens New Zealand CEO Paul Ravlich says Siemens is delighted to be partnering with Meridian again to extend New Zealand’s wind energy capacity, having earlier supplied and constructed both the West Wind and Te Uku wind farms. He says the Mill Creek site, located 10km north of West Wind, is an ideal location, utilising Wellington’s most famous natural resource – consistent and powerful winds that are widely regarded as some of the best conditions for energy generation in the world.

"Mill Creek will draw on exceptional wind speeds, similar to that experienced at West Wind which has a capacity factor of more than 46 per cent, well above the world’s average of 30 per cent," said Mr Ravlich.

He says the site demanded a robust turbine. "Our turbines feature a 40-metre blade that is manufactured in one piece, so there are no weak points that could potentially expose the turbine to cracking, water ingress or lightning." Earthworks on Mill Creek are expected to commence in two months with the farm planned to be fully operational in early 2014.

Wind power in New Zealand

1997: 4 MW
1998: 24 MW (+500 %)
1999: 35 MW (+45.9 %)
2000: 35 MW (- %)
2001: 35 MW (- %)
2002: 35 MW (- %)
2003: 36 MW (+2.9 %)
2004: 168 MW (+366.7 %)
2005: 168 MW (- %)
2006: 171 MW (+1.8 %)
2007: 322 MW (+88.4 %)
2008: 325 MW (+1 %)
2009: 497 MW (+53 %)
2010: 530 MW (+6.7 %)
2011: 622 MW (+17.4 %)

By José Santamarta,