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Wind Power For Scott Base

Wind Power For Scott Base

simulation of
antarctica project - copyright Meridian
Click to enlarge

A visual representation of how the project will look on completion. Image: Meridian Energy

18 April 2008: MEDIA STATEMENT

Antarctica New Zealand and Meridian Energy are about to embark on a project to build the southernmost wind farm in the world.

The project will be part of Antarctica New Zealand¹s contribution to the joint logistics pool with the United States Antarctic Program on Ross Island, Antarctica.

The scheme will reduce power generation fuel consumption and will involve the construction of three wind turbines linked to the electrical grids of both McMurdo Station and Scott Base.

Funding of the project was announced by Foreign Minister Winston Peters office at the International Polar Year Function held in Wellington on Thursday evening. ³It is no mean feat, in extreme polar conditions, to provide a smooth supply of electricity to our scientists working at Scott Base. This is impressive technology, and it will enable an interface between the existing diesel generators and the wind turbines to ensure the lights go on, and stay on,² the Minister said. Substituting renewable energy for existing fossil fuel use is a way of reducing environmental emissions and the environmental risks associated with getting the fuel to the bases.

³Antarctica New Zealand operates New Zealand¹s research station Scott Base in Antarctica. New Zealand is dedicated to the Antarctic Treaty principles of environmental protection and as such is committed to reducing the environmental impacts of its operations,² said Lou Sanson, Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand.

The project will cut consumption by approximately 463 000 litres of fuel every year on Ross Island, reducing fuel consumption by 11%. The project will also result in a reduction of greenhouse gas production by 1242 tonnes of CO2 annually.

³This is a significant reduction in the carbon footprint on the world¹s most pristine continent,² added Mr Sanson. Meridian Energy, New Zealand¹s green energy leader and electricity generator will bring its expertise to the development, construction, operation and management of wind energy to the Antarctic project.

Ken Smales, Director of Growth and Development at Meridian, said this is an opportunity to promote and publicise New Zealand¹s environmental principles and to showcase Meridian¹s renewable energy development capabilities.

³Meridian is really excited to be playing our part in bringing cleaner energy alternatives to Antarctica and we¹ve been working closely with Antarctica New Zealand to make this happen,² said Ken Smales.

³The project will further demonstrate New Zealand expertise as a leader in wind generation and help New Zealand fulfil its commitment to minimise the environmental impact of its presence in Antarctica.²

Antarctica New Zealand and Meridian have been investigating the project since early 2005.

Site works for the project will commence in November with plans to have the first stage fully operational by the end of February 2010.

Further developments with the potential to reduce power plant fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at McMurdo Station and Scott Base by up to 50% are under investigation.



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