BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate, and Elemental Group have announced a ‘multi-billion-dollar’ investment proposal for offshore wind projects in New Zealand. The projects, spread out between South Auckland and West Waikato, will be the consortium’s second investment as part of a national initiative to build up to 5 GW of offshore wind capacity. The Waikato Offshore Wind Project will use both fixed and floating foundation technology and have a 1.4 GW capacity. It will be constructed in two stages and, if operational, will be able to supply energy to close to 700,000 homes.

In the first phase of the project, 250 MW of capacity will be developed using fixed-bottom wind turbines located 22 km off the West Waikato coast. Around 300 jobs in the construction, operations, and maintenance sectors are anticipated to be created during this phase. The project’s Phase II will comprise the installation of floating foundations and a potential development west or north of Phase I, with a capacity of 800 MW to 1,150 MW. The second phase is estimated to provide employment to 800 workers, with the possibility for more depending on the scale of the project. The Waikato Offshore Wind project has reached the feasibility stage after the consortium finished the first site selection. By 2030, construction on the project is anticipated to begin.

Earlier this month, BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate, and Elemental Group announced its plans to build a 900 MW wind project offshore from South Taranaki, New Zealand. The offshore facility, which is 22 km from the coast, is the first of four projects slated for the Aotearoa region that could contribute up to 5 GW of renewable energy capacity.