Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Mercury, a New Zealand-based electricity generator and retailer.

Vestas will be responsible for adding 103MW capacity to Mercury’s Turitea windfarm near Palmerston North, increasing its energy generation capacity from 119MW to 222MW.

Mercury chief executive Fraser Whineray said: “We are pleased to be able to complete this project with Vestas by encompassing all 60 consented turbines.

“Fully developing the Turitea windfarm will capture more of New Zealand’s great wind resources through regional investment, further lowering the project’s cost of energy and allowing us to provide New Zealand with more affordable and sustainable renewable energy.”

Turitea’s project expansion will see the addition of 27 new Vestas V112-3.45MW turbines that will be delivered in 3.8MW power optimised mode.

Currently, the wind farm is equipped with 33 Vestas V112-3.35MW turbines that are operating at 3.6MW per turbine. With the latest contract, Vestas will increase its installed capacity in New Zealand to 568MW.

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Vestas Asia Pacific president Clive Turton said: “Vestas shares Mercury’s commitment to a sustainable future, and we are pleased to expand our relationship to complete New Zealand’s biggest wind farm.

“The deal will further strengthen our leadership position in the New Zealand market, expand our service footprint and create local jobs.”

Additionally, Vestas has signed a 25-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement to increase energy production for the lifetime of the project.

The new wind turbines at Turitea windfarm are expected to come online by the second quarter of 2021.

This is not the first activity Vestas has conducted in Oceania this year. In June 2019, the company acquired a majority stake in Winterbourne windfarm from Walcha Energy in Australia, with the remaining share being owned by community shareholders.