Projects, Solar

Three more solar farms for Lodestone Energy

Lodestone Energy, a prominent New Zealand renewable energy generator, has expanded its second phase of agrivoltaic solar farms by adding three more sites.

These newly consented solar farms in Clandeboye, Mount Somers, and Dunsandel, are anticipated to significantly contribute to Lodestone’s total generation.

The Dunsandel farm alone is projected to produce 80GWh annually, increasing the overall generation by an additional 150 GWh per year from these South Island locations.

Daniel Cunningham, General Manager Development, highlighted Lodestone’s agrivoltaic approach.

“In keeping with Lodestone’s agrivoltaic approach for all farms, the Dunsandel farm, which recently received consent approval from Selwyn Council, is located on a 100-hectare block leased to Lodestone and will continue to maintain productive farming activity,” Cunningham said.

“This combined use of agricultural and solar productivity results in more efficient use of the land and creates new value for the nation. Construction for all three farms is slated to occur from 2024 to 2026.”

Lodestone’s phase 1 capital program of five solar farms, fully funded in 2022, remains on track, with construction set to commence on the remaining two farms in 2024.

Phase 2 is anticipated to be larger in scale, with additional site announcements expected in 2024, aligning with Lodestone’s objective to contribute to the transition to an electricity market with 100 per cent renewable energy.

Gary Holden, Managing Director of Lodestone said the company is diversifying its supply locations to the South Island, which is a key part of its strategy of selling power to customers across the country.

“Our objective is to ensure the farms are welcomed by local councils and neighbours and to find as many like-minded customers as we can. In the end, those willing to invite these farms into their future planning will play a key role in the energy transition to an electricity market with 100 per cent renewable energy,” Holden said.

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