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Innovation

The New Zealand wind energy industry is composed of diverse businesses. Some offer highly specialised services and others provide general services to support wind farms.

NZWEA knows of more than 100 businesses associated with activities during the planning and project development, construction and installation, and operation and maintenance (O&M) phases of wind farm activity. Most of these businesses are privately owned. They are engaged across areas such as consulting and engineering services, construction and installation, and wind energy facility development.

New Zealand’s wind energy industry exports its expertise. Some companies (e.g. Aurecon, Windflow Technology and Industrial Site Services) are developing skills and expertise in New Zealand and exporting it to markets in Australia, Europe and Asia. New Zealand can expect to grow its share of service exports as the industry expands.

Some businesses in the wind energy industry are establishments that construct individual components and systems that make up the wind turbine. These businesses are localising production to take advantage of a growing market, reduce transportation costs, and minimise the risks associated with exchange rates. They conduct research and development that leads to innovation. One example is Windflow Technology, a turbine manufacturer based in Christchurch. In 2012, Windflow signed an agreement with General Dynamics SATCOM for joint development, manufacture and sales of the Windflow 500 technology.

Suppliers of components are also expected to localise their assembly line. The growth of the wind energy industry will provide new opportunities for New Zealand workers. More jobs are likely to be created as suppliers and component manufacturers innovate and localise their businesses and assembly lines.