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West Wind farm

West Wind is located in Mākara, west of Wellington city. Construction began in 2007 and the wind farm became fully operational in 2009.

The wind farm’s 62 wind turbines can generate up to 142.6 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough for around 73,000 average New Zealand homes.

Why build a wind farm here?

West Wind uses one of Wellington’s most renowned natural resources – wind. The funnelling effect of Cook Strait means the site has strong and consistent wind speeds, making it an ideal place for a wind farm.

Right from the early stages of planning, it was clear that getting the turbine components to the site would require innovative solutions. To avoid Wellington’s busy streets, Meridian constructed a temporary wharf at Oteranga Bay and 33 kilometres of roads to link the wharf to the wind farm site.

West Wind Recreation Area

Giving the public access to West Wind was always a key part of Meridian’s vision for the wind farm, and recreation areas were created in collaboration with the Mākara community via a recreation group and community liaison group.

It has walking and mountain biking tracks, and the old Post Office building, which has been converted into a viewing platform, creates a space where views of the coast and the wind farm can be enjoyed.

From here visitors can take a short walk to the People’s Turbine, one of the wind farm’s 62 turbines and the only one the public can access on the site. However, substantial views of the wind farm are available from most parts of the recreation area.

There are also two other walking tracks of various lengths and difficulty that offer fantastic views of the coastline and access to Mākara Beach from the recreation area.

Two mountain biking tracks, designed and constructed by Wellington mountain bikers Jonathan, Paul and Simon Kennett, provide some wonderful challenges for keen mountain bikers.

West Wind recreation area opening times

Summer 1 Oct – 31 Mar 9am – 6pm
Winter  1 Apr – 31 Jul 9am – 4pm
Lambing 1 Aug – 30 Sep Closed

Public access to the recreation area is via Opau Road. Car parking is available for 60 cars. Please note that dogs are not allowed in the recreation area. Livestock may also be present in the recreation area. 

Visitors should also be mindful of kiwi when visiting West Wind. The likelihood of our native birds being visible is increasing as more are released on Mākara Farm.

Opau loop track

The Opau loop track is closed until further notice due to the felling of trees deemed a risk in the area. 

The felled trees will remain to provide food and shelter for native plantings that will grow up to replace the pine trees as part of Meridian’s Forever Forests programme. In the short term we’re working to re-route part of the Opau Bay loop track, and in the longer term we intend to create a bush walk in the replanted area. 

Our other wind farms

It gets pretty blustery in New Zealand – which is good news for us wind farmers. We have five wind farms spread from Waikato to Southland, plus the iconic, solitary wind turbine in Brooklyn, Wellington. We’ve also designed and built a wind farm at Ross Island in Antarctica that provides power to Scott Base and McMurdo research stations.

If you’d like more information on one of our wind farms, please email community@meridianenergy.co.nz.


Empowering communities in our backyard

Our Power Up community fund supports local projects in areas in which we have generation assets. It’s one of the ways in which we recognise the importance of local communities to our operations.

If you’re based near a Meridian power station or wind farm and have a project you’d like help with, apply now!

Education Resources

We reckon that by teaching Kiwi kids how we make clean energy, they’ll continue the mahi to keep Papatūānuku in good shape for our future. That’s why we’ve come up with some downloadable education resources that are aligned with the New Zealand school curriculum and have been designed and reviewed by New Zealand teachers.