Officials commission joint US-NZ Antarctic Wind Turbines - January 16, 2010
US Ambassador David Huebner and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully officially commissioned a joint effort to bring renewable energy to Antarctica. At a ceremony in Auckland on January 16, three wind turbines, which were completed last year and had been providing limited power to New Zealand’s Scott Base and the American McMurdo Station, were put into full service.
The three 333 kw towers were built by Meridian Energy with the support of the US Antarctic Program and the Antarctica New Zealand. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been scheduled to speak at the ceremony, held at Auckland’s historic Northern Club, where several Antarctic explorers have spoken in the past, but her visit to New Zealand had to be postponed due to the aftermath of the severe earthquake in Haiti. Ambassador Huebner stepped in and expressed full support for renewable energy in the pristine Antarctic environment. He added that Secretary Clinton had been very much looking forward to participating in the program, to demonstrate US support for both renewable energy and cooperation with New Zealand on Antarctic issues, in which the two nations have a close working relationship. The three turbines are expected to cut diesel use at Scott Base and McMurdo Station by 11 percent.