This paper proposes and evaluates an optimized system of offshore wind turbines operating as a renewable energy generating unit in New Zealand. A comprehensive simulation model has been set up, using several available commercial software packages to test performance, capacity and efficiency of the proposed system. Available wind records have been used to select three coastal regions which are suitable for wind energy generation and conduct simulation model runs at three locations. Findings so far have been firstly that horizontal axis wind turbines are the most suitable for offshore installation; secondly that a direct current microgrid appears suitable for linking to the onshore electricity supply network; thirdly, many coastal sites can be ruled out because generating capacity is too low or because site factors preclude installation; and fourthly there are some sites where simulation results indicate good potential for offshore wind energy and other site factors do not preclude development. Evaluation of the economic feasibility and returns is now in progress.