Mercury to build 119MW wind farm at Turitea, New Zealand

WCN Editorial Team 28 Mar 2019 OCEANIA ENERGY & UTILITIES

New Zealand renewable energy company Mercury will establish a N$256m ($174m) wind farm at Turitea near Palmerston North.

The 119MW Turitea wind farm will generate 470GWh per annum on average, enough electricity to power 210,000 cars.

The company is setting up the first 33-turbine wind farm as part of its commitment to 60 wind turbines.

The wind farm is expected to be commissioned from late 2020 and be connected to the national grid at Linton.

This will be the third largest wind farm in New Zealand and first large-scale generation addition to the country’s capacity since 2014.

Transmission and other infrastructure will be scaled to support the development of the remaining 27 turbines at Turitea and on the Puketoi range to the east, where Mercury has agreed to construct a 53-turbine wind farm.

Mercury has appointed Vestas-New Zealand Wind Technology, a subsidiary of Danish wind turbine company Vestas Wind Systems, to construct and maintain the Turitea wind farm.

The arrangement comprises an EPC contract and a long-term service and availability agreement.

Mercury has also entered into a separate agreement with Electrix and Transpower for the design and construction of the 220kV transmission line and grid connection to Linton.

The transmission assets will cater to an increase in generation at the site and the future development of the Puketoi wind farm located nearby.

Construction is expected to commence in August 2019. The project cost will be funded from existing debt facilities.

Turitea and Puketoi are ideal opportunities for wind farm development in New Zealand due to high average wind speeds and proximity to the national grid.

Mercury CEO Fraser Whineray said: “The estimated $256 million project supports the opening up of a further $750 million investment opportunity in wind energy development.

“The Turitea wind farm will contribute to New Zealand’s sustainable, low emissions future, as well as to our country’s energy freedom by making more renewable, kiwi-made electricity available for homes, businesses and vehicles around the country.

“The development of renewable energy projects in provincial New Zealand also helps to support local economies through more jobs and spending.”

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Image: Turitea wind farm location in New Zealand. Photo: Courtesy of Mercury.

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