November 22 (Renewables Now) - The Provincial Growth Fund of New Zealand has provided a NZD-3.16-million (USD 2.03m/EUR 1.83m) grant for Stewart Island/Rakiura to install two wind turbines, environment minister David Parker said on Friday.
The funding will allow the island to complete the pre-development and construction stages for the turbines.
Stewart Island, New Zealand's third biggest island, currently generates electricity through diesel generators consuming about 360,000 litres of diesel annually. As a result, people on the island pay on average about three times as much as people on the mainland for electricity. The two wind turbines are expected to cut diesel use by 50%, helping electricity prices to stabilise, Parker noted.
In an attempt to improve the island's power generation network, some had asked for a hydro system but it would have required more than the available storage while also costing more, the announcement says.
(NZD 1.0 = USD 0.64/EUR 0.58)