PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island

Published: Dec 2, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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  • News and announcements
  • Southland/Murihiku

Stewart Island has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to convert part of its electricity generation to wind power through building two wind turbines there.

Stewart Island’s town centre, Oban

Stewart Island’s town centre, Oban

Stewart Island's isolation means it faces challenges to its sustainable economic development. Affordable electricity is seen as a major barrier to the future economic sustainability of the community.

Electricity is currently generated on the island through diesel generators that consume around 360,000 litres of diesel a year.

Environment Minister David Parker, making the announcement on Stewart Island late last week, said that building wind turbines was the best available option.

"Building an initial two wind turbines as part of the island’s power generation network is the most economic and environmentally acceptable option. It provides a renewable energy source. It is estimated to reduce diesel use on the island by half, which will enable the price of electricity to be stabilised," he said.

"The economic resilience of Stewart Island will be considerably improved through this investment. Installing wind turbines will work to improve business viability, increase productivity and encourage businesses to remain on the island. Jobs will be created during the pre-construction and construction phase.

"Wind energy is a clean fuel source compared to other energy sources. It does not pollute the air or produce greenhouse gasses,” Mr Parker said.

The PGF funding will allow for the pre-development and construction stages to be completed. The pre-development phase includes design, resource consents, geotechnical surveying, land access and economic analysis.