Fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and New Zealand's sovereign wealth NZ Super Fund have teamed up to study the possibility of developing an offshore wind project with an initial capacity of 1 GW in the South Taranaki Bight on the west coast of New Zealand.
A new jointly-held company has been set up to handle the feasibility study and development, the two said on Monday.
The partners are currently engaged in the early stages of project feasibility evaluation, with feasibility work expected to last about two years. If the project goes ahead, it could start generating electricity by the end of the decade. The development would account for over 11% of New Zealand’s current power demand and contribute to the country’s 100% renewable energy aim by 2030.
CIP and NZ Super Fund see a potential for later upscaling the project to 2 GW as electricity demand is expected to grow significantly in New Zealand.
The partnership follows a recent announcement by New Zealand’s Minister of Energy Megan Woods that the government would start work this year on a new regulatory regime for offshore renewables.
According to CIP partner Michael Hannibal, given New Zealand’s high average wind speeds and relatively shallow waters close to transmission infrastructure, the project is an exciting development for CIP. It is part of a project development pipeline for the firm’s upcoming flagship fund CI V.
This will be CIP’s first investment in New Zealand. It comes after NZ Super Fund last year committed NZD 208 million (USD 144m/EUR 131m) to CIP’s Energy Transition Fund (CI ETF I).
(NZD 1 = USD 0.692/EUR 0.631)
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