Marine Energy Projects Get Kiwi Funding

Ultra-green New Zealand is going in for some marine energy. The government announced it will back three projects through its Marine Energy Deployment Fund: a wave energy device for Stewart Island; turbines to generate electricity for Parnell Baths in Auckland; and a cable to link a wave energy device at Moa Point in Wellington.

“New Zealand has huge potential to generate electricity from marine energy in the future,” said Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata. “This could add significantly to our renewables portfolio.”

marine energy, New Zealand

image via Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

In all, New Zealand is looking at spending NZ$876,884 (US$695,00) on these projects. The biggest chunk – NZ$361,884 – would go for the cable installation on Wellington’s south coast. The idea is to get the cable in place so it can be used down the road for testing by marine energy developers.

Just over NZ$200,00 is set for Parnell Baths turbine installation. The turbines will be installed on the Tamaki Drive Road Bride to grab tidal energy as water flows in and out of Hobson Bay. The power will then be used to pump and recirculate treated seawater at that Parnell Baths nearby.

Lastly, NZ$312,000 is earmarked to build a 20-kilowatt wave power device that will be installed and put into service in the eastern waters of Stewart island. The government said plans call for all three projects to be completed in the next two years.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.