Danish renewable investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has partnered with the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZ Super Fund) to develop 1GW of offshore wind capacity on New Zealand’s west coast.

Located on the South Taranaki Bight, the planned capacity will be equivalent to more than 11% of New Zealand’s current electricity demand.

The project’s scope could later be expanded to 2GW to meet the projected growth in demand for electricity in the country.

NZ Super Fund CEO Matt Whineray said: “We are in the unique position of being able to attract best-in-class global partners on infrastructure developments that create positive environmental and social outcomes while delivering financial returns for New Zealanders through the NZ Super Fund.

“We are delighted to be working with CIP, a global leader in green energy transition.”

To manage the feasibility study and development for the project, the two companies have created a jointly-held company.

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Investment in the South Taranaki project is in line with CIP’s broader project development pipeline for CI V, its upcoming flagship fund.

At present, the two companies are in the initial stages of the project feasibility evaluation.

These involve designing detailed environmental impact assessments, wind resource measurement and examining industry potential, as well as training requirements for the Taranaki region.

During the study, CIP and NZ Super Fund will also focus on measures to ensure the proposed project can coexist with other uses of the marine area.

CIP partner Michael Hannibal said: “New Zealand has a prime opportunity to utilise its natural resources, in this case offshore wind, to power the country into the future.

“We look forward to working with NZ Super Fund, the NZ Government, local iwi and communities on this project.”

Earlier this month, CIP partnered with Alcemi to develop, build and operate energy storage assets with 4GW of capacity across the UK.