A device that can measure wind speeds, waves and currents is about to become the first physical piece of offshore wind technology deployed in New Zealand. The Floating Light Detecting and Ranging Device – or FLiDAR – is at Port Taranaki waiting to be towed into position 37km off the coast of Patea.
Taranaki Offshore Partnership’s Giacomo Caleffi said when in position, it would provide data crucial for accessing the feasibility of its proposal for a 1 gigawatt, $5 billion offshore windfarm in the South Taranaki Bight. Caleffi said the buoy, which was built in France, used laser technology to make its recordings that would give the partnership a “next level, more granular” understanding of wind conditions in the bight. The NZ Super Fund is considering investing $2.5 billion in the project.
Craddock said offshore wind could become an important part of port business in future.