The wind farm long anticipated in South Taranaki has had its investment approved and been given a new name.
South Taranaki iwi Ngā Rauru gave "Waipipi" as the new name for what had been previously been called the Waverley Wind Farm. It's a project of Australian renewable electricity generation company Tilt Renewables, and on August 28 the Tilt board approved investment in it.
Final financial closure is expected in September, chief financial officer Steve Symons said.
The wind farm got consent in July 2017. It will spread across four properties on 980ha of coastal land between Pātea and Waverley.
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It will cost $276 million. Tilt is seeking loan funding and already has some commitments. A percentage of the cost will come from its own equity, including funds set aside for reinvestment.
Tilt chief executive Deion Campbell is delighted with the expansion in New Zealand, made without the need for new investment from shareholders.
The Waipipi Wind Farm will have 31 turbines, each a 4.3MW Siemens Gamesa model with a rotor diameter of 130m - said to be the largest ever installed in New Zealand.
It will take up to 20 months for 150 people to build. Once operational it will generate 455GWh of electricity a year, enough to power about 70,000 houses. Genesis Energy has committed to buying all the electricity for 20 years.
Construction will be managed by Tilt, with the turbines supplied and installed by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Pty Ltd. ElectroNet Services will handle the plant's electrical balance and Higgins Contractors will do the civil construction.
Tilt has other wind farms in New Zealand, and wind and solar generation projects in Australia.