Southland’s potentially unprecedented demand for renewable energy and ways to meet that demand are outlined in a new draft Strategy for the region, which is open for consultation until Wednesday 10 May 2023 (extended from 26 April).
The draft Southland Murihiku Regional Energy Strategy 2022-2050 developed by BECA, was commissioned by Great South in partnership with Murihiku Regeneration.
Great South Strategic Projects General Manager Stephen Canny said while the future of New Zealand Aluminium Smelter at Tiwai Point (NZAS) was uncertain and energy-intensive industries like green hydrogen production were in development, having a plan was vital.
“We are in the exciting position of having several new major industries eyeing up Southland. Having this strategy means that investors will have confidence investing in the region - we have a plan and a focus on renewable energy.”
The draft strategy presents three potential future scenarios for the region; baseline - where NZAS closes and Southern Green Hydrogen (SGH) does not proceed; transition - where NZAS closes and SGH goes ahead; and green energy growth - where both NZAS and SGH co-exist.
It also outlines potential new renewable energy sources such as further wind farms, biomass, solar, biogas and run-of-river hydro generation, and maps a pathway to address industry decarbonisation and to transition from a reliance on fossil-fuel transportation.
Murihiku Regeneration Portfolio Director Terry Nicolas said the Strategy showed there was substantial opportunity for new renewable energy generation in Southland.
“Working together as a region and making use of rapidly emerging technology will be critical to make optimal use of this resource,” Mr Nicholas said.
An advisory group comprising iwi, councils, major local industry and the electricity sector guided the process and development of the draft Strategy.
This is the fourth energy strategy to be carried out by Great South (and its predecessor Venture Southland), with previous energy strategies completed in 2003, 2005 and 2011.
Information from the strategy will be an important input to the Beyond 2025 Southland Long-term Plan being facilitated by Great South on behalf of the region.
There is opportunity for the public to find out more about the strategy at public hui in Gore, Te Anau and Invercargill:
- Gore – Monday 17 April, 4.00pm, Croydon Lodge
- Invercargill – Tuesday 18 April, 4.00pm, Victoria Room, Civic Theatre
- Te Anau – Thursday 20 April, 4.00pm, Te Anau Club
To RSVP for the consultation hui please click on the link below.