Power plan makes waves
June 24, 2006 - The Dominion Post
Cook Strait could be the answer to New Zealand’s
energy problems say scientists.
Power companies are
investigating an ambitious project to place underwater
turbines in Cook Strait as an answer to New Zealand’s
Scientists behind the idea say
harnessing the tidal currents could meet the entire
country’s electricity needs.
State-owned power companies
Meridian Energy and Transpower are also included in
the project’s development.
In what would be a multibillion-dollar
scheme, up to 7,000 turbines would be anchored to
the sea floor and float about 40 metres below the
The project’s leaders, Christchurch scientists
David Beach and Chris Bathurst, believe the tidal
currents could be harnessed to generate enough electricity
for the whole country.
The scientists, the founding
directors of Neptune Power, are investigating the
placing of the submerged turbines in an area stretching
over 200 square kilometres of Cook Strait, from its
northern fringes close to Marlborough Sounds to further
south between Wellington and Cloudy Bay.
we have the best site in the southern hemisphere,”
Meridian, New Zealand’s largest hydro-generation
company, met the pair this week to discuss the scheme.
The scientists will also meet Transpower, operator
of the national grid, in the next few weeks.
tidal generation project in Foveaux Strait is also