Todd Energy reveals stake in tidal power company

Todd Energy’s clean energy interests were outlined this morning, as the company revealed a cornerstone investment in tidal power plant company, Crest Energy.

Speaking at the Clean Energy Summit in Auckland this morning, Todd Energy’s generation development manager Tim Cosgrove said the company had a 30% investment in Crest, with the option to take that to 45%. Crest Energy’s 200-underwater turbine project in the Kaipara Harbour, designed to generate up to 200MW and bring security of supply to up to 250,000 Northland homes, will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The Kaipara is one of the largest harbours in the world with 8000 million cubic metres of water flowing in and out of the harbour every day. Previous figures have put the cost of the turbine installation at about $600 million over 10 years, with the project making a profit after year three.

The company was given the maximum $1.85 million award under the New Zealand Marine Energy Deployment Fund last year, subject to the granting of consents. Granted resource consent in June this year, it prompted a number of Environment Court appeals, which Mr Cosgrove said Todd was waiting a decision on.

NBR understands Todd Energy was reluctant to make the cornerstone acquisition public until consent had been fully granted. It said in June that an offer, which was not open to the general public, to buy shares in Crest Energy in September 2007 was oversubscribed. Mr Cosgrove said tidal energy had huge potential in New Zealand and was one of a number of areas the company was looking into, including solar energy and wind energy options.