Taranaki Offshore Partnership (TOP), a partnership between NZ Super Fund and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) in New Zealand, has signed an agreement with Port Taranaki and BlueFloat Energy for a joint study into how the port’s assets, infrastructure and land can support the growth of the offshore wind industry in Aotearoa.
The study, which aims to assess how Port Taranaki can serve as an offshore wind hub, will also determine if particular port upgrades and investments are needed for offshore wind developers to construct, operate and maintain their projects. This includes an assessment of the port’s wharves, crane lifting capacity, land and storage layout and the specific need to transport and service wind turbines.
The results of the study will be part of the broader respective feasibility activities being undertaken by TOP and by BlueFloat Energy in relation to their planned offshore wind projects in Waikato and Taranaki.
NZ Super Fund and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) announced in early 2022 that they were working together to explore the potential for large-scale offshore wind development in the South Taranaki Bight, with plans for an initial project to have a capacity of 1 GW and further 1 GW planned to be added later.
In June 2022, the two partners submitted a pre-activity notice to New Zealand’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to deploy a floating LiDAR at the project site and, a few months after that, initiated a study into the future industry requirements needed to support the development and operation of the 1 GW South Taranaki offshore wind project.
BlueFloat revealed offshore wind plans in New Zealand back in 2021 when the company partnered with Energy Estate and Elemental Group to develop offshore wind farms in the country. The consortium plans to develop four offshore wind projects with a total capacity of up to 5 GW.
At the beginning of November 2022, the consortium announced its first project, located in South Taranaki, which will use bottom-fixed technology and is expected to have a capacity of 900 MW. Later that same month, the three partners revealed another project in New Zealand, an up to 1.4 GW development in South Auckland and West Waikato.
The Waikato offshore wind project is planned to be developed in phases and to utilize both fixed and floating foundation technology.