New Zealand's two largest offshore wind energy proponents have reached at agreement to work together with Port Taranaki to assess whether the port can serve as a hub for the sector.
NZ Super Fund and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners' (CIP) Taranaki Offshore Partnership (TOP) and Port Taranaki with BlueFloat Energy (BFE) announced the deal today.
They will commission a study to better understand how the port's assets, infrastructure and land could support the growth of an offshore wind industry in Aotearoa.
It will determine if particular port upgrades and investments are needed for offshore wind developers to construct, operate and maintain their projects.
This includes assessment of the port's wharves, crane lifting capacity, land and storage layout and the specific need to transport and service wind turbines.
The work will feed into feasibility activities being undertaken for separate planned offshore wind projects in Waikato and South Taranaki.
Port Taranaki chief executive Simon Craddock said the potential for offshore wind production in Taranaki and around New Zealand were exciting.
"New Zealand has one of the best offshore wind resources in the world, and it's likely this industry will play an important role in a low-emissions future.
"With our proximity to the proposed development site, our skills and experience having worked in the energy industry, our laydown and storage areas available on-site, and our berths for the specialist support vessels, we believe Port Taranaki has a key role to play in support of this emerging industry," he said.
Taranaki Offshore Partnership's Giacomo Caleffi said with multiple developers indicating interest in offshore wind development in Taranaki and beyond, it made sense to work together on the Port Taranaki study.
"From our experience, with CIP's portfolio of many offshore wind projects operational, under construction and in-development in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, it's important to take the right opportunities to collaborate with key partners and other developers to best position offshore wind, as a new industry for New Zealand, for success," said Caleffi.
BlueFloat Energy New Zealand country manager Nathan Turner said it was excited to be part of the agreement.
"We are strong advocates for developing the offshore wind industry collaboratively and this will help all of us to keep up the momentum.
"The announcement of the Government's discussion paper in late 2022 to enable investment in offshore renewable energy demonstrates a strong commitment to this strategically important industry and makes us very positive about the future of offshore wind in Aotearoa.
"Port Taranaki is ideally positioned for both of the offshore wind projects we have recently announced in South Taranaki and Waikato. As the only deep water port on the west coast, Port Taranaki will be central to building a successful offshore wind industry in New Zealand," said Turner.