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BlueFloat JV will build an up to 1.4 GW offshore wind project in New Zealand

A joint venture formed by BlueFloat Energy, Energy Estate, and Elemental Group has unveiled plans to develop and build an up to 1.4 GW offshore wind project, located 22 km off the West Waikato coast, south of the city of Auckland, on New Zealand’s North Island.

The project, which will use both fixed and floating foundation technology and will be able to power 700,000 households, will be split in two phases. Phase 1 of the project (250 MW) will be developed using bottom-fixed technology and phase 2 (800 MW to 1.15 GW), which will be developed adjacent to phase 1, will be built using floating foundations. The consortium has completed its initial site selection and the project is now in the feasibility stage with construction expected to begin before 2030.

The proposed West Waikato project is the second of four offshore wind projects planned by the joint venture in New Zealand, which are expected to total 5 GW of wind capacity. Earlier in November 2022, the joint venture unveiled the 900 MW South Taranaki offshore wind project, also located on New Zealand’s North Island and which will use bottom-fixed technology.

In 2021, wind power represented 8% of New Zealand’s installed capacity with 822 MW. The country targets 90% of renewables in the power mix in 2025 and plans to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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