New Zealand to Harness Tidal Power

New Zealand to Harness Tidal Power

New Zealand’s abundant potential for development of tidal energy may finally be harnessed in full capacity, since there has been a turn in the overall approach to exploitation of tidal power in the country, Maritime Journal writes.

That is to say, local energy companies, such as Crest Energy, winner of planning permission to produce up to 200 MW of tidal power at Kaipara harbour in the NW peninsula of the North Island, in shortage of sufficient resources will serve as hosts to foreign companies. This will include development and testing of tidal power prototypes, turbines and other relevant power generation equipment.

Even though Crest Energy enjoys considerable support from a privately owned energy producer, Todd Energy, the project, which may well be the largest planned in the world, is still in its early stage because New Zealand has minimal commercial support for renewable energy.

“As a general statement the country uses and licences other people’s technology. Crest plans to do the same,” Anthony Hopkins, Crest Energy managing director stated on the occasion.

The British already expressed interest in bringing their technology to New Zealand and a UK delegation is coming in April to table possible arrangements.

“I’m sure that some of the UK groups coming down will want to collaborate with New Zealand groups to develop and adapt prototypes to New Zealand conditions…the purpose of the mission is to link companies at the research and development level, where the research and development is advanced to a near-commercial level that can be exploited within a reasonable time-frame”, he added.

Some of the local tidal energy companies also intend to engage in creation of their own projects and technology such as Neptune Power, Parnell Community Leisure Centre or Energy Pacifica, which proposed a 30 MW project in the Tory Channel, located off the South Island.


Offshore WIND staff, April 10, 2012; Image: govt

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