New Zealand Surf Park Heated by Data Center Gets Nod From Regulator

Heat generated by a solar-powered data center in Auckland will be used to warm the surf lagoon in a nearby leisure facility.

Bloomberg News

June 26, 2024

2 Min Read
Female surfer at indoor surf park

(Bloomberg) -- US-based surf park developer Aventuur won approval to develop a New Zealand project promising year-round access to waves warmed by heat from a nearby data center.

Consent to proceed was issued by a panel appointed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the regulator said Wednesday in Wellington. As well as the surf lagoon and the data center operated by phone company Spark New Zealand, there will be a solar farm to power the site.

The consenting panel granted approval to AW Holdings 2021, a private New Zealand company that is 68% owned by Aventuur, according to government records. Auckland property developer Mark Francis owns 25% while high-profile former New Zealand rugby player John Kirwan has a minority stake.

The panel report cited an independent assessment that the direct economic injection from construction and development of the project equated to NZ$374 million ($229 million), while the total impact on business activity in Auckland from the project would be NZ$630 million over six years.

Aventuur, founded in 2019, plans to develop similar leisure parks around the world. It was selected by the Western Australia state government to construct a surf park in Perth, and says it has exclusive rights to deploy the wave-making technology in North America and Singapore.

Related:New Data Center Developments: June 2024

The Auckland project will be built on 43 hectares (106 acres) of farmland at Dairy Flat, north of the city. It will include a surf academy for coaching, accommodation, and visitor facilities. 

The seven-hectare solar farm will power the site, including Spark’s proposed data center, which will be built in stages to 40 MW, the phone company said in a statement. Heat generated by the center will be used to warm the surf lagoon, to promote potential year-round use, it said.

“We are thrilled to be working together with Spark to create a world-first symbiotic relationship between a surf park, data center and solar farm,” said Aventuur co-Founder Richard Duff.

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