Palmerston North, NZ

Square Edge, Palmerston North, NZ

  • Target: 100% RE city by 2015.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: 3 wind farms (286 turbines), 4 mini-hydro turbines, bio-gas production, 100kW solar arrays, solar hot water heaters, insulation and hot water heat pumps.
  • Implementation: The city of Palmerston North is located near the southern end of New Zealand’s North Island. In 2011, the Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) began developing plans to become a 100% RE city. This goal was possible since wind farm development in the area had already begun in 1999, with three wind farms, including New Zealand’s largest, Tararua Wind Farm. Since 1999, a total of 286 turbines have been installed, with a combined annual capacity of approximately 300 MW, providing the city with access to renewable wind power. In addition to sourcing local wind power, the PNCC has invested in several other renewable generation projects. The installation of 4 mini-hydro turbines created enough energy to power the waste water treatment plant. The waste water treatment plant has also been retrofitted with technology allowing for the use of the waste water treatment’s bio-sludge for bio-gas production. The bio-gas produced from this process is used as a peak demand generator, capable of producing up to 75% of the city’s peak electrical demands. The PNCC has also installed a 100kW solar array on the roofs of the PNCC Central Administration Building and the City’s Convention Centre. As part of the city’s ongoing green house gas emission reduction plans, there are established financial assistance programs for improving the efficiency of residential properties. These financial assistance programs provide partial funding for solar hot water heaters, insulation and hot water heat pumps where applicable.
  • Population: 88,700 (2018)
  • Area: 395 km2 (153 sq mi)
  • Link:
Square Edge, Palmerston North, NZ