An agreement by Genesis to buy power from Waverley Wind Farm means the project will now be built - with construction beginning next year and taking 18 months.

Major New Zealand electricity generator and retailer Genesis made a relationship with Australian electricity generation company Tilt Renewables in October last year. Last week Genesis agreed to buy all the power from the Waverley Wind Farm for 20 years.

Genesis needs renewable sources of electricity, because it will phase out its carbon-emitting Huntly Power Station within the next 10 years. Electricity from the Waverley Wind Farm will be a reliable and affordable replacement, Genesis CEO Marc England said.

Waverley Wind Farm got resource consent in July 2017. An appeal against it was dropped.

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Tilt Renewables has been waiting for an agreement before starting to build, general manager renewable development Clayton Delmarter said.

"It provides the revenue to underpin the project. Based on that we are now pushing on with final stages of the development process - finalising site design, pre-construction resource commitments and securing funding."

He expects to "press the green button" by the end of this year, and for building to start in 2020. The target start time for generation to begin is September 2021.

Tilt Renewables already has preferred and short-listed contractors for all the work on site. Final details will be agreed with them over the next few months, Delmarter said.

The Waverley Wind Farm will have 31 turbines, each 160m high, and generate 450-460GWh a year. The turbines will be spread across several farms on a 980ha coastal site between Pātea and Waverley.

Electricity will enter the grid at the Mangatangi substation in Waverley, and get there on 13km of 110kV line that heads around the South Taranaki town on Swinbourne and Fookes streets.

Building the wind farm has been projected to employ up to 100 people for two years, and cost as much as $40 million. After that it will provide about 10 ongoing jobs, and generate about $3.3m a year for the regional economy.

Tilt Renewables already owns two wind farms generating electricity in New Zealand, and six in Australia.

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