Sci-fi like objects lying in a Whakatu storage yard might look like props from a Star Wars movie but their identity is closer to earth than the stars.

Dozens of yet-to-be-assembled wind turbine parts lie scattered across Hawke's Bay due to a construction delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The distinctive parts, some of which look like props from a sci-fi movie, have been stored at sites in Whakatu and Onekawa over the past few months, ready to be sent down State Highway 2 to create a new wind farm on the hills at Turitea in Manawatū.

When completed the 60 turbines will form New Zealand's largest wind farm by output at 222MW, producing 840GWh annually (enough to power 375,000 electric vehicles).

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The first shipment, which is stored across the region, carried 32 tower sections, 16 nacelles (casings), 16 drivetrains and 16 hubs, plus associated accessory parts – everything you need to construct 16 wind turbines (apart from the blades and a lot of concrete).

It was the first of what is likely to be four shipments of similar size as a total of 60 turbines are erected at Turitea.

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The blades were shipped to the port in Taranaki.

The remaining 17 sets for the Turitea North section are nearing departure from China, also bound for Napier and are set to arrive within a month.

AAL Shanghai unloads wind turbine columns at Port of Napier back in February which were then sent to Onekawa. Photo / Warren Buckland
AAL Shanghai unloads wind turbine columns at Port of Napier back in February which were then sent to Onekawa. Photo / Warren Buckland

A Mercury spokesperson said the project had been delayed due to the pandemic, meaning the parts have had to be stored in Hawke's Bay longer than expected.

"The wind farm construction site was shut down and locked up safely for the duration of the lockdown, with activity being carefully re-started from start of May.

"But with the site now fully remobilised our focus has returned to advancing construction of New Zealand's largest wind farm safely and efficiently."

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