Tararua Wind Farm

Tararua wind farm in the snowTararua wind farm is located on 700 hectares of private sheep and beef farming land on the south side of the Manawatu Gorge, in the Tararua Ranges. It is 10 kilometres from the city of Palmerston North and is operated by Mercury NZ Ltd.

Tararua wind farm is one of New Zealand’s largest wind farms, both in terms of number of turbines and output. Its 134 turbines have a combined capacity of 161 megawatts and an average annual output of 620,000 megawatt hours. The wind farm has 103 Vestas V47 660 kilowatt turbines and 31 Vestas V90 3 megawatt turbines.

With average wind speeds of 35 kilometres per hour the wind farm’s performance ranks amongst the best in the country, operating at a 46% capacity factor. The international average capacity factor for wind farms is around 30-35%.

Construction stages

The wind farm was built in three stages. The 48 V47 turbines installed in Stage I have a combined capacity of 31.7 megawatts. The Stage II expansion was commissioned in 2004, bringing the total installed capacity to 67 megawatts and the number of turbines to 103. Stage 3 of the wind farm was granted resource consent in May 2004 and commissioned in September 2007. Thirty-one 3-megawatt Vestas V90 turbines were installed, increasing the wind farm’s capacity to 161 megawatts.

Key facts

Operator:  Mercury NZ Ltd
Nominal annual generation: 620,000 megawatt hours
Total installed capacity: 161 megawatts

  Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Year Installed
Number of Turbines     
Turbine Capacity
0.66 MW  
0.66 MW
3 MW
Installed Capacity
31.7 MW
36.3 MW
93 MW
Blade Length
Tower Height


To see the wind turbines, change the view to satellite and zoom in.