MainPower holds the resource consent for a wind farm at Mt Cass near Waipara and has measured the wind speed at a number of other sites around the region.
Construction of Mt Cass is currently on hold as demand for electricity has flattened in the past few years. We are continuing to progress environmental baseline monitoring so that the site can be ready to build when it is needed.
Wind provides about 5% of New Zealand’s energy at present with most wind farms being developed in the North Island. In the South Island, there are two wind farms of a similar scale to Mt Cass (in Otago and Southland) and four smaller wind farms including two near State Highway 1 in Marlborough. Although it is true that the wind doesn’t blow all the time and there is no power generated, when there is no wind it is also a fact that month by month, wind is a more reliable energy source than hydro.
For more information on wind generation, visit the New Zealand Wind Energy Association website.