West wind wind farm

Civil works design for Meridian’s Wellington wind farm

Meridian’s wind farm west of Wellington is situated in rugged terrain – our geotechnical specialists assessed ground conditions for the 62 turbine site.

Opus designed the civil works for the wind farm at Makara. Meridian Energy’s West Wind comprises 62 turbines on 53 square kilometres of steep, rugged terrain underlain by fractured and deformed greywacke bedrock in Makara, West of Wellington.

Opus carried out detailed geotechnical investigations to assess ground conditions for the design of the wind farm. Each of the wind turbines is of 2.3 MW capacity. They have a tower height of 67m and three 40m blades, giving a total height to the top of the blades of 111m.

Our geotechnical investigations addressed key construction factors including:

  • Earthworks to form 33km of new roads to access the turbine sites
  • Creation of 62 flat turbine platforms
  • Foundations for the turbines (octagonal, 15–16m diameter)
  • Substation, operation and maintenance buildings 
  • About 45km of underground cabling
  • Sites for disposal of surplus cut materials
  • Risk of instability of turbine platforms, access tracks and cable routes.

Construction of the wind farm began in October 2007, with power from the first 15 turbines from April 2009. Final commissioning of the wind farm was completed by December 2009.