Wind energy is recognised as the key renewable technology to enable decarbonisation of the energy sector and help Aotearoa New Zealand reach its net zero climate change target.
A significant number of new wind farms are expected to be built over the next 30 years with forecast capacity increasing from 940 MW in 2022 to 6,500 MW by 2050. With an average onshore wind farm capacity of 100 MW, that’s around another 55 wind farms. There is also significant interest in developing larger scale offshore wind farms.
Wind Farm Technician numbers are currently relatively low. To prepare for an expected significant increase in technicians needed to support new wind farms, a set of New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) approved qualifications have been developed.
Last year Connexis | Te Pūkenga, the infrastructure business division of Te Pūkenga New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, released two new wind farm programmes to gain these NZQA recognised qualifications.
NZ Certificate in Wind Farm Maintenance (Level 3)
The Level 3 programme focuses on the servicing aspects of wind farm maintenance and comprises 60 credits.
The programme has seven unit standards and is for technicians involved in servicing, repairs and scheduled maintenance tasks. The programme will take around nine months to complete and is achieved through on-job assessment. A learner has the option to complete the programme through paper-based resources or through online learning. . The learner also has an option to complete the programme through Recognition of Current Competence (RCC). If you have three or more years of experience working in the industry, and can provide a portfolio of evidence, then RCC could be a great option for you to get qualified within a shorter timeframe.
NZ Certificate in Wind Farm Maintenance (Level 4)
The Level 4 programme focuses on wind farm diagnostic and repair maintenance activities and comprises 80 credits.
The programme has six unit standards and will take around 12 months to complete and is achieved through on-job assessment. The learner also has an option to complete the programme through Recognition of Current Competence (RCC). If you have three or more years of experience working in the industry, and can provide a portfolio of evidence, then RCC could be a great option for you to get qualified within a shorter timeframe.
If you would like more information on entry requirements or how to enrol into these Connexis programmes, please contact Connexis: www.connexis.org.nz/contact
NZ Electricity Supply (Introductory) with strand in Wind Farm strand (Level 2)
The Level 2 programme is an introductory course of 40 credits which comprises safety training and knowledge of the principles of wind energy. This programme is currently under development.
In the interim, the NZ Certificate in Electricity Supply (Introductory) with a strand in Electrical Works is available. This programme focuses on providing a grounding on how to work safely in the electricity supply industry. More information on the programme is available here: www.connexis.org.nz/energy-qualifications