May 17, 2020

Crest Energy to Develop New Zealand's First Large-Scale Tidal Energy Project

2 min
Crest Energy to develop first large-scale tidal energy project in New Zealand
Since 2006, New Zealands energy sector has grappled with the legal and consent process of developing the countrys first tidal energy generation project...
Since 2006, New Zealand’s energy sector has grappled with the legal and consent process of developing the country’s first tidal energy generation project. Tidal energy utilizes the movement of ocean currents to spin underwater offshore turbines, thus generating electricity. While smaller demonstration tidal energy schemes have been developed off of New Zealand’s coastline, none have yet provided power plant-levels of electricity before, to help offset the country’s growing energy needs.

Now, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson’s has finally granted approval for a large-scale tidal energy generation project in New Zealand. The contract is being awarded to Crest Energy, who will oversee the installation of up to 200 tidal turbine generators in New Zealand’s Northland Kaipara Harbour. The total area to be covered is roughly 8km by 1 km, and will generate enough electricity when finished to power “everything above Auckland—from Albany to the Cape,” according to Crest Energy Director Anthony Hopkins.


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Now that the project has the green light to develop, Crest Energy is seeking investment, and predicts the first turbines to be installed within the next two years. The project in its entirety is expected to cost upward of $600 million in the first 10 years.

Investors with an interest in New Zealand tidal energy generation include the country’s wealthiest family, the Todd family.

Rumors are circulating that Irish company OpenHydro will be supplying the tidal turbines for the project.

The installation process for the tidal turbines is to be phased gradually, as to allow for testing and monitoring throughout the project’s implementation to assure that environmental concerns are addressed. Three turbines will be installed first and monitored. “I am aware of concerns raised by submitters and believe the conditions set out would ensure any possible negative impacts can be properly monitored and accounted for,” said Conservation Minister Wilkinson. A public review process will be in place that could halt the project if environmental concerns are detected.

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Apr 12, 2021

GM-backed Cruise robotaxis to operate in Dubai from 2023

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Cruise robotaxis to be launched in Dubai from 2023 and ramped up to 4,000 cars by 2030
Cruise robotaxis to be launched in Dubai from 2023 and ramped up to 4,000 cars by 2030...

Futuristic-loving Dubai is teaming up with General Motors to introduce Cruise self-driving taxis in the city from 2023 and become the first to operate the vehicles outside the US.

It plans to ramp up the vehicles, which have been operating in San Francisco, to 4,000 cars by 2030.

In a statement, it said the move supports Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology, as the emirate seeks to reduce transportation costs by AED900 million a year and save AED1.5 billion a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent.

It added that it would generate AED18 billion annually by increasing the efficiency of the city's transport sector.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, saidt he selection of Cruise was not taken lightly and it engage in a comprehensive, multi-year process to choose the best possible partner. 

"Cruise’s technology, resources, purpose-built vehicle, automaker partnerships, approach to safe testing and deployment and strategy give them the ability to launch safely and faster than any other company," he said. 

Vehicles collect petabyte-scale data daily from sensors, complementing ML, AI and robotic technology. 

In January, Cruise and General Motors entered into a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles, leveraging Azure, its cloud and edge computing platform (click here). 

Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.

"Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "As Cruise and GM's preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream."  

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