Wellington is a tougher proposition for a wind farm than Antarctica, says a team exploring the possibility of building turbines at Scott Base.
Experts from Meridian Energy have flown to the world's windiest continent to conduct feasibility tests around Scott Base, which three years ago was hit by a storm with wind gusts that exceeded 200km/h, destroying the base's wind vane.
Iain Miller, Antarctica New Zealand's Antarctic services manager, said if the windfarm went ahead, it would help power Scott Base and also the neighbouring United States base, McMurdo Station.
"Interestingly enough, because of turbulence created by the landscape, the wind at Scott Base and McMurdo isn't as brutal as parts of New Zealand where there are windfarms," he told The Press.
"Meridian is planning one on the southwest coast of Wellington where the wind speed and turbulence are worse."
If approved, the Antarctic windfarm would augment the diesel generators used to power the two bases.
The high cost of transporting fuel to Antarctica, including use of icebreakers to create a shipping channel for the tanker, made wind energy a more economical prospect than in New Zealand.
The windfarm would boost Antarctica New Zealand's contribution to the joint logistics pool with the National Science Foundation (NSF), which runs the United States Antarctic Programme.
"It depends on the response from the NSF.
"It's about improving the contribution we make and it's also about renewable energy," Mr Miller said.
The NSF did a feasibility study four years ago of wind power at McMurdo Station and found it could save up to 1.2 million litres of fuel each year.