As a coastal country, New Zealand obviously has a lot of scope when it comes to marine energy generation. Now a fresh bout of funding from the government’s Marine Energy Deployment Fund is set to give three marine energy projects a bolster.
The projects include a wave energy device for Stewart Island, turbines to generate electricity for Parnell Baths in Auckland, and funding for a cable to link a wave energy device at Moa Point in Wellington.
Estimates put the amount of marine energy resources available at 8000 megawatts, almost as much as New Zealand's current installed generation of around 9600 MW.
Acting Minister of Energy and Resources, Hekia Parata, said New Zealand’s potential to generate electricity from marine energy is massive and could “add significantly to our renewables portfolio”.
The three projects that will receive funding from the Marine Energy Deployment Fund are:
* Wave Energy Technology New Zealand Ltd (WET-NZ): $361,884 for the installation of a cable at WET-NZ's Moa Point Test Site on Wellington's south coast. The cable will later be available for use by other marine energy developers for further device testing.
* Community Leisure Management Ltd (CLM): Parnell Baths Marine Energy. $203,000 for the installation and deployment of up to three turbines on the Tamaki Drive Road Bridge to harness the tidal flows in and out of Hobson Bay. The electricity generated by the turbines will be used to pump and re-circulate treated seawater in the nearby Parnell Baths.
* Tangaroa Energy Rakia Amps Ltd: Tangaroa Energy/Langlee Wave Power Project: $312,000 for the manufacture of a 20kW wave energy device which will be installed and deployed in the eastern waters of Stewart Island.
The funding will be administered by the EECA and is subject to the developers meeting certain milestones, including obtaining all necessary resource consents and sufficient finance.
The projects are expected to be built within the next two years.