Te Apiti Wind Farm, Manawatu, New Zealand
Meridian Energy’s Te Apiti wind farm is located on Saddle Road north of the Manawatu Gorge, 10 kilometres from the city of Palmerston North. It is situated within 1,150 hectares of farmland owned by several landowners, including Meridian Energy.
The wind farm’s 55 1.65 megawatt Vestas turbines have a total capacity of 90 megawatts. They generate electricity to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 45,000 average homes.
Each turbine has a tower measuring 70 metres high, and is fitted with 3 blades each 35 metres in length. The blade rotations per minute can vary according to the wind speed but have a maximum speed of 17 revolutions per minute.
The turbines are electronically controlled, with microprocessors that automatically start, stop and monitor them. In very high winds the turbines automatically shut down to avoid damage.
A public viewing area underneath one of Te Apiti’s turbines has views of the wind farm and an information display. The viewing area is open daily from 8.30am to 5pm and is clearly signposted from Saddle Road.
Operator: Meridian Energy
Year installed: 2004
Number of turbines: 55
Turbine capacity: 1.65 megawatts
Wind farm installed capacity: 90 megawatts
Blade length: 35 metres
Tower height: 70 metre