Harapaki wind farm is proposed to be built in the Maungaharuru Range in New Zealand. Credit: Meridian Energy.
The wind farm will generate enough clean energy to power 70,000 New Zealand homes, once fully commissioned in 2024. Credit: Meridian Energy.
Harapaki wind farm will be installed with 41 Siemens Gamesa’s 4.3MW turbines. Credit: Meridian Energy.

The 176MW Harapaki wind farm is proposed to be built by Meridian Energy, a New Zealand government-owned electricity generator and retailer, in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

Upon completion in 2024 it will become the second-largest wind farm in the country.

The clean energy generated by the wind power facility will be enough to power more than 70,000 homes a year. The construction phase will last nearly three years and is expected to generate approximately 260 jobs.

The wind farm development is anticipated to involve an investment of NZD395m ($282m), which will be secured from bank facilities.

The investment in the Harapaki wind farm will enhance the New Zealand Government’s ability to take action on climate change and transition the economy towards greener energy sources.

Meridian operates five other wind farms in New Zealand, including Te Uku, West Wind, Mill Creek, Te Āpiti and White Hill.

Location of Harapaki wind farm

The wind farm will be built in the Maungaharuru Range within the Hastings District in Hawke’s Bay, about 35km north-west of Napier. The project is expected to cover 9km within the range, spanning 1,235ha of land.

State-owned firm Transpower New Zealand’s 220kV Whirinakito-Wairakei double circuit transmission line passes across the corner of the project site. The site is strategically located above the transmission constraint south of Wairakei.

Timeline of Harapaki wind farm

Meridian Energy secured consent to build and operate a wind farm in Hawkes Bay. The Harapaki wind farm combines the resource consents granted for two separate wind farms on adjacent sites in 2005.

The company acquired the resource consent for Hawkes Bay wind farm from Hawke’s Bay Wind Farm Ltd in 2010 and the consent for the neighbouring Titiokura wind farm from Unison Networks.

Following the purchase of the consents, Meridian focused on researching the site, studying its wind patterns and geography to identify the best layout for the project.

Turbine details

The Harapaki wind farm will feature Siemens Gamesa’s SWT-DD-120 4.3MW rated wind turbines. Each turbine will have a rotor diameter of 120m and length of 145m, from base to tip. The wind farm is expected to generate approximately 542GWh a year of clean energy.

Construction details

Construction of the wind farm project is expected to begin in 2021, with final commissioning anticipated in mid-2024. Approximately 23km of roads are expected to be laid, along with 232km of cabling. Construction works will include approximately 18,000m³ of concrete and 860,000m³ of cut.

Advanced European wind generation technology will be implemented to create new benchmarks for sustainable construction practices and turbine efficiency. Design reviews reduced the quantity of concrete and steel to be used in the construction, decreasing the project’s carbon footprint by more than 30%.

Suppliers and contractors involved

Siemens Gamesa was awarded a contract to supply 41 SWT-DD-120 4.3MW turbines. The contract also includes the installation and maintenance of the wind turbines.

Meridian Energy contracted Transpower to supply, install and commission a substation and 220kV grid connection for the wind farm. Hyosung was selected for the supply, installation and commissioning of 220/33kV transformers while Italian company Prysmian will supply 33kV reticulation cable for the project.

Unison Contracting Services received a contract to provide electrical services for substation, cable jointing and 33kV switchgear installation. Hick Bros Spartan Joint Venture is responsible for the construction of all roads, crane hardstands and turbine foundations.

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