New turbines for the windiest continent

Existing turbines at Crater Hill 2019 20
12 April 2023

Ross Island, Antarctica is set to receive three new state-of-the-art wind turbines that will power the future Scott Base with more than 90% renewable energy.

Three EWT turbines (type DW54X-1MW) have been selected to replace the three existing turbines that supply renewable energy to Scott Base and the neighbouring American base, McMurdo Station.

The new turbines are scheduled to sail south to Antarctica in the summer of 2023/24.

Chief Executive Sarah Williamson says the new wind turbines are part of an extensive upgrade programme for the Ross Island Wind Energy system that demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to sustainability.

“The Ross Island Wind Energy system reduces the carbon footprint of New Zealand’s Antarctic operations, as well as the environmental risks associated with transporting diesel fuel to Antarctica”, she says.

“One of the new turbines will generate almost as much power as the three current ones combined and, together with a battery storage system, will provide more than 90% of the electrical demand of the new Scott Base per year”, she says.

A large battery energy storage system will also be installed and the high voltage network and diesel generators at Scott Base upgraded as part of the project.

The upgrade will allow New Zealand to benefit from the extreme wind conditions in Antarctica, while meeting the higher energy requirements of the new base that is due to be up and running in 2028.

The EWT turbines will stand at 40m tall (hub height) in the same location as the existing ones at Crater Hill - a small increase in size from the existing hub height of 37m.

The first turbine will be installed in the summer of 2024/25, the other two the following year.

In Budget 2021, Antarctica New Zealand was awarded funding to redevelop Scott Base and upgrade the Ross Island Wind Energy system.


For more information, please contact:

Samantha Chapman

Senior Communications and Stakeholder Advisor – Scott Base Redevelopment

Antarctica New Zealand

+6421392659 |

Photo credit: Antarctica New Zealand/ Luke Keehan, 2019/2020