• Summary

Kick-starting tidal current energy in the Cook Strait

This 1-page 'postcard' summarises research that investigated the viability of generating electricity from the strong tidal currents within Cook Strait.


Cook Strait is potentially one of the best sites in the world for generating power from tidal currents. One major barrier to tidal current energy is lack of knowledge about the scale of investment required.

Our researchers used computer models to determine the best site for a tidal farm off Wellington’s South Coast, the shape of that farm and how many tidal turbines would be required to generate enough energy to power a major city.

We found:
  • At site A: 95 turbines spaced 100m apart in two rows could produce 90 megawatts (peak). That’s similar to the West Wind Farm in Makara!
  • Researchers also developed a faster, cheaper way to initially assess multiple sites in a region using existing hydrodynamic models.

Watch the webinar

  • Kick-starting tidal current energy in the Cook Strait

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