Manawa Energy and Pioneer Energy to propel Kaihiku Wind Farm 

Manawa Energy & Pioneer Energy team up to advance the Kaihiku Wind Farm in South Otago Alexandra-based Pioneer Energy (‘PEL’) and renewable energy developer and generator Manawa Energy (‘MNW’) are teaming up to investigate the development of a 300-megawatt wind generation project in southwest Otago. 

The two companies have entered into a 50/50 limited partnership with the rights to develop the high-quality Kaihiku Wind Farm electricity generation project on privately-owned rural land between Balclutha and Clinton. If it proceeds, the wind farm is estimated to be able to generate around 1050 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year, enough to power more than 135,000 households. This is contingent on finalising constraints mapping, resource consents, and the wind turbine technology deployed. 

Interim CEO Clayton Delmarter said MNW’s involvement would bring expertise and experience from its long and successful history as a developer. “We’ve been developing renewable generation over the past 20 years on both sides of the Tasman and we’re a pioneer of wind development here in New Zealand. The Kaihiku project is the second significant wind development in our pipeline, alongside the proposed 230-megawatt Project Huriwaka in the central North Island we announced back in May.” 

He said it was anticipated the country needed “a 50 to 70 percent” increase in renewable generation over the next 25 years. “That means an additional 4800–6700 megawatts need to be developed if we want to help meet New Zealand’s climate change targets and support the electrification of the economy. The Kaihiku Wind Farm represents a potential opportunity for Manawa Energy and Pioneer Energy to play a part in this transition to a low-emissions future.” 

PEL owns and manages a portfolio of renewable energy generation and clean energy solutions around the country. It is based in Alexandra and is 100 per cent owned by the Central Lakes Trust. 

PEL CEO Fraser Jonker said Pioneer Energy had been investigating the potential to develop a wind farm on the site since 2022. “It’s an exciting project and we’re very pleased to be combining our local knowledge with Manawa Energy’s deep wind expertise. We have several years of historic wind data, confirming the site has a consistent high-quality resource. It also has very good access to transmission and great construction characteristics.”

Full development of the project was expected to take at least four years. 

“The development timeline is reliant on the findings of project studies and assessments, consultation feedback, consenting timelines and market dynamics,” Jonker said. “We’ve secured the key land access rights but there is still a lot to do. We are underway with iwi, community and stakeholder consultation, design, environmental assessments and network connection activity.”

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