Maximising the potential of single-use materials at Harapaki

World Environment Day 2023

The theme for World Environment Day 2023 is solutions to beat plastic pollution. We thought this was the perfect time to talk about our latest wind farm development, Harapaki. Our vision is for Harapaki to become New Zealand’s most sustainable wind farm, setting a prime example of environmental stewardship while actively contributing to our climate action goals.

Harapaki site

Harapaki is an ambitious renewable energy project that will soon become New Zealand’s second-largest wind farm. Located in northern Hawke’s Bay, it will have 41 turbines generating 176 MW of clean, renewable power, providing electricity for around 70,000 average households.

We’ve implemented a number of initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of the project as part of Meridian’s commitment to sustainability. One key example at Harapaki is that we’re being very deliberate with our approach to materials that are often labelled as single-use. Instead of simply resorting to recycling or sending to the landfill, we actively seek alternative uses for these materials, finding creative solutions within our community.

Any surplus materials are offered to Harapaki project members. If there are no immediate takers we reach out to local communities. This collaborative effort has yielded remarkable results in the past few months.

Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) are sturdy plastic containers encased in metal cages that can hold up to 1,000 litres of liquid. We have a substantial need for these containers to fulfil various liquid storage requirements within the Harapaki project. Once used we don’t drop these off to landfill or recycling facilities. These containers have proven to be incredibly useful for local farmers and the local community eagerly receives them. In fact, there is now a waiting list for the next available IBC!

Intermediate Bulk Container on a farm

Used IBCs from the Harapaki project have proven to be incredibly useful for local farmers.

Another highly sought-after resource is Novacoils. These plastic pipes serve as temporary drainage and water control purposes. As the earthworks and civil works phase of Harapaki nears completion, many of these pipes have become available for repurposing. Once again, we have reached out to local communities, offering them these Novacoils. The response has been overwhelming, with a 100% request rate for reuse.

Novacoil plastic pipes

Many Novacoil plastic pipes from the construction site have been offered to local communities for repurposing.

It’s this type of innovative thinking that has enabled Harapaki to not only meet but exceed its waste diversion target, diverting more than 75% of waste from landfill. We’re proud to announce that our current waste diversion rate stands at an astounding 91% – that’s a whopping 450 tonnes diverted from landfill!

Join us on our exciting journey as we unlock the potential of single-use materials, collaborating with our local community to make a significant impact on waste reduction and sustainable resource management. Harapaki is not just a wind farm; it's a testament to our unwavering commitment to combat climate change and pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous tomorrow.

Together, let’s all use our power to make a difference for a better tomorrow.