Chatham Island, administered by the Chatham Islands Trust, is located about 800 km due east of Christchurch, New Zealand and is home to 700 permanent residents. The island’s power station consists of five Caterpillar diesel generating sets of varying sizes from 120kW to 275kW. Power is distributed on the island using an 11kV overhead and underground distribution network. Diesel power is expensive with the power price on the island at NZ$1.10/kWh.
The Trust commenced a project to reduce the island’s use of and reliance on diesel generation through wind turbines. The two wind turbines were supplied by French manufacturer, Vergnet and displace 45% of Chatham Island’s diesel generation. They can be lowered for cyclonic winds and maintenance.
CNF was appointed to install the wind turbines, connect them to the grid and deliver the project as an EPCM. The project consists of two (2) 225kW wind turbines and an innovative control system to manage the power and diesel scheduling on the electrical network.