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Tararua Wind Farm

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Tararua Wind Farm stands on 700 hectares of private farmland in the Tararua Ranges, in the lower North Island of New Zealand. It is New Zealand’s largest wind farm, with one hundred and three Vestas V47 660 kW wind turbines, and thirty one Vestas V90 3.0 MW wind turbines. The Scheme produces an average annual power output of over 600 GWh: an impressive example of clean, sustainable energy generation.

At a Glance

LOCATION: Tararua Ranges

Commissioned 1999

Max Capacity 161 MW

Annual output Over 600 GWh

Tararua Wind Farm performs at a world-class level — a result of the location having wind speeds of 35 kmh for 85% of the time. The Scheme produces 43% of its theoretical maximum, compared to the international wind farm average of around 30%. The installed capacity is 161 MW. 

We began generating from stage one of the Wind Farm in 1999. Stage two began in 2004, at which stage all one hundred and three Vestas V47 Turbines were in operation. These European-made turbines have three 23.5 metre (m) blades, that turn at 29 revolutions per minute (rpm). 

Stage three of the Wind Farm began operating in 2007, with thirty one Vestas V90 turbines. These have a hub-height of 65m, three 45m blades turning at 16 rpm, and a total height to the blade tip of 110m. Each turbine produces 3 MW. 

Environment and recreation 

Tararua Wind Farm produces a very large volume of electricity, in a sustainable way. The turbines are a relatively prominent feature on the landscape — and that’s widely viewed as a positive. The Wind Farm has become a popular tourist attraction and is well supported by the local community. 

We have undertaken many initiatives such as hosting regular school visits, tours and contributing to local projects, including a car-park and rest area near the bridge from Ashhurst. 

We continue to work to reduce our overall carbon footprint. For example, we have worked closely with the wind turbine supplier who is responsible for maintenance activities, to develop and use local engineering expertise for maintenance of turbine componentry, wherever practical.

Tararua Wind Farm
Tararua Wind Farm

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