Offshore wind in South Taranaki

Taranaki is the preferred location of an offshore wind farm in New Zealand because of the world-class wind resource in the South Taranaki Bight. Taranaki also has the benefit of having much of the required energy infrastructure already in place, and a workforce with transferable skills from the oil and gas industry that can be redeployed to support the transition to renewable energy.

Our area of interest extends roughly 25-40km off the coast of South Taranaki. The wind speeds and depth of the sea bed are optimal for developing offshore wind.

TOP’s proposed offshore wind farm will consist of up to 70 wind turbines which are around 260 metres high.

Depending on the exact final location of the wind farm, the turbines would sometimes be visible on the horizon on a clear day.

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An offshore wind farm of this size is expected to generate up to 1GW of power which could power over 650,000 New Zealand homes. The project is also scalable with the potential to expand to produce up to 2GW.

Offshore wind farms are typically expected to operate for around 30 years, but if repowered can last longer. Turbines are made up of up to 90% recyclable materials like steel, copper and aluminium. Improving on this is a key focus for the industry, with manufacturers targeting zero waste turbines by 2040.

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Feasibility stage

The project is in its early feasibility stage and we are currently undertaking studies and activities critical to potential commercial development. Our work includes feasibility studies and investigations on:

5 PS Measuring Wind Wave

Measuring wind and wave conditions

5 PS Studies

Studies to understand seabed conditions

5 PS Environmental studies

Marine species, bird and other environmental studies

5 PS Consultation

Iwi and community consultation

5 PS Transmission

Transmission, grid and engineering studies

5 PS Economic studies

Economic studies and opportunities for local industry

Project timeline - click the images below to find out more

Timeline 1

February 2022

Feasibility and investigations
(2 years)

Timeline 3

June 2023

In June 2023, TOP deployed the first piece of physical offshore wind technology in New Zealand, a Floating Light Detecting and Ranging device (FLiDAR). 

Timeline 3

October 2023

In October 2023, TOP published its Industry Capability Mapping Study and Jobs Guide with partners at NZTE and Ara Ake.

Timeline 2


Environmental assessments and approvals
(2 to 3 years)

Timeline 3 v2


Construction and commissioning
(3 to 4 years)

Regulatory framework

Creating an enabling regulatory environment and regulatory settings is key to ensuring the development of offshore wind in New Zealand. MBIE is working to develop the regulatory framework for the whole life cycle of offshore wind development, alongside a wider Energy Strategy for New Zealand, due to be published in 2024.

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