New Zealand's Contact Energy today announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Investec to investigate the opportunity to work with Investec towards jointly developing Investec and Windlab's portfolio of wind sites in New Zealand.

Contact Energy Chief Executive, David Baldwin, said Contact was pleased to secure the arrangement, which would give Contact important options in wind energy.

Mr Baldwin said the alliance with Investec would allow Contact to assess wind farm sites and development opportunities, and put in place a process for Contact and Investec to agree a long-term relationship.

“Contact has watched the emergence of wind energy with a great deal of interest, and we believe it is important to have the option to consider wind in New Zealand’s future generation mix.

“Wind farm developments could sit very well alongside Contact’s geothermal, hydro and gas-fired generation plants and further enhance the company’s already diverse portfolio,” he said.

“This MOU with Investec gives Contact the opportunity to explore and develop tangible wind opportunities. The next step for Contact will be to review data, undertake due diligence on selected sites and to continue working with Investec on future development options.

“This is a step forward for Contact towards the option of a new, emerging form of electricity generation,” said Mr Baldwin.