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Genesis Energy looks to add more wind

Genesis Energy looks to add more wind to its renewable portfolio

Genesis Energy has reached agreement with Unison Networks to investigate taking an equity share in Unison & Roaring 40s’ 147MW wind farm development in Hawkes Bay.

To date the wind farm has been jointly developed by Unison and Roaring 40s (a joint venture between Hydro Tasmania and the CLP Group). The development consists of two stages: Stage I at Titiokura has resource consent for 15 wind turbines with a combined generating capacity of up to 45MW. Detailed design in preparation for construction of Stage I is about to commence. Stage II at Te Waka would have at least 34 turbines with a generating capacity of approximately 102MW. A resource consent application has been re-lodged for Stage II, after an initial larger scheme was turned down by the Environment Court.

Genesis Energy intends to take a substantial equity share in the project. It also intends to acquire all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through a Power Purchase Agreement with the joint venture.

Genesis Energy’s Chief Executive Murray Jackson said the Hawkes Bay site is ideally located between our hydro schemes at Waikaremoana and Tongariro which produce 500MW of renewable energy. This level of renewable energy along with new high efficiency gas turbine generation will allow Genesis Energy to move the 1000MW Huntly coal-fired plant to reserve over the next 10 years.

“Genesis Energy has a number of geothermal and wind energy projects currently being evaluated in conjunction with joint venture partners. Joint ventures on wind farm developments are ideal for us and the other party as we bring not only equity to the table but our considerable expertise in stakeholder consultation and wind farm operations,” he said.

As New Zealand’s largest energy retailer, Genesis Energy is able to provide long-term power purchase agreements to the joint venture.

Unison Networks Chief Executive Ken Sutherland said: “While the full development remains subject to Resource Management Act approval, this interest by Genesis Energy is a big vote of confidence in our joint wind farm initiative. It underlines the importance of moving to sustainable energy sources and providing much-needed energy capacity in what is widely acknowledged to be an environmentally acceptable way.

“The wind farm is of national significance and would materially assist New Zealand in meeting its Kyoto Protocol targets. It would not only contribute to economic growth but do so in a manner which would help New Zealand meet its international environmental obligations.

“We are very pleased to have this interest with Genesis Energy in helping to achieve the goals of economic and environmental sustainability.”

The Companies:

Genesis Energy is New Zealand’s largest energy retailer and third largest generator with the most diverse portfolio of generation. It operates 1440MW of thermal generation at Huntly Power Station, 360MW Tongariro Hydro and 140MW Waikaremoana Hydro Schemes, 40MW biomass co-generation plant at Kinleith, 54MW gas co-generation plant at Te Awamutu, and 8.65MW wind farm at Hau Nui.

Unison Networks is the 4th largest electricity lines company in New Zealand. The company owns, manages and operates the electricity networks in the Rotorua, Taupo and Hawke’s Bay regions. Unison’s interest in the development of wind generation in this Hawkes Bay location extends back to the mid 1990’s when, in conjunction with NIWA, it identified the high potential of this particular energy resource.

Roaring 40s is an Australian-based company which has extensive experience in the development, construction and maintenance of wind farms and other renewable energy projects in the Asia-Pacific region. Roaring 40s is a 50/50 joint venture between Hydro Tasmania (Tasmania’s state owned generation company) and CLP Group, which is one of Hong-Kong’s largest electricity utilities.

Project Facts

- The windfarm project is located in the Te Pohue-Titiokura area, 35 kilometres west of Napier.

- Nationally: 3rd largest of 13 operational or consented wind farms
- Stage 1 (Titiokura), up to 45 megawatts of power from 15 turbines, has received consent. Stage 2 (Te Waka) originally 111 megawatts now up to 102 megawatts, was declined by the Environment Court in April.

- Combined output would be approximately 400 gigawatt hours a year; about the same amount of energy used each year by 50,000 households.

- Up to 49 three-megawatt turbines would be installed in total (Titiokura and Te Waka).

- Wind generation will displace coal as an energy source, resulting in 830,000 project ERUs (carbon credits).

- The sites have very good wind conditions, excellent road access, secure transmission grid availability and close proximity to Genesis Energy’s 500MW of hydro generation.

Note to editors: Good quality high resolution photographs of Murray Jackson and Ken Sutherland on the wind farm site are available.


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