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BlueFloat team unveils 5GW NZ offshore wind vision



A consortium of offshore wind developers that includes BlueFloat Energy has unveiled plans to develop 5GW of offshore wind capacity off New Zealand.


The team, consisting of BlueFloat, Energy Estate and Elemental Group, unveiled the plans to develop four offshore wind projects across Aotearoa, in Taranaki, Southland and Waikato, at the 2022 Wind Energy Association Wānanga.


The consortium said that it believes that offshore wind energy can complement other renewable energies like hydro, onshore wind, solar and geothermal, opening up possibilities for new businesses like green hydrogen, e-fuels and innovations to decarbonise industrial processes.

Justine Gilliland, Partnerships Director for the consortium, said: “We have an incredible opportunity in front of us to develop a new, value-adding industry with offshore wind energy.


“Our consortium is committed to living by our development principles. We are focused on meaningful engagement and collaboration with Iwi and key stakeholders including unions, industry, training providers and communities on projects that deliver sustainable growth and enduring benefits to our host communities.”


The consortium has also reached an agreement with Beach Energy New Zealand that will entail the installation of a Doppler Light Detection and Ranging system (LiDAR) on the Beach-operated Kupe platform, off South Taranaki.


The LiDAR will measure a number of key data points that are critical for developers in planning their projects such as wind speed, direction and consistency.


Beach has agreed to share this data with multiple offshore wind developers, reducing the need for duplication, and bringing a “new collaborative dimension” to this nascent energy sector.


“This initiative will allow us to assess wind resources in South Taranaki and reduce uncertainties for the future development of offshore wind in the region,” said Carlos Martin, Chief Executive Officer of BlueFloat Energy, during a recent trip to New Zealand.


“It opens the door for a new spirit of collaboration where we can discuss the potential for shared infrastructure, transmission corridors and offshore transmission networks,” he added.


The consortium has spent the last two years studying the feasibility of offshore wind and engaging with key stakeholders and is confident that Aotearoa offers great potential for offshore wind energy.


Subject to the regulatory framework being in place and obtaining all necessary approvals, the first turbines are expected in the water before the end of the decade.

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