New Zealand’s largest solar farm is now operational, marking a pivotal moment in the country’s renewable energy journey.
Lodestone Energy, a key player in New Zealand’s solar energy sector, has initiated power generation at its Kaitaia farm, marking a milestone as the country’s largest utility-scale solar installation and the inaugural solar farm participating in the national electricity market.
“This project ushers in a new era for energy in New Zealand. Kaitaia is the first solar farm at this scale and is a key step in helping New Zealand deliver on its climate goals,” Gary Holden, Managing Director of Lodestone Energy said.
“It is also crucially important to our customers who have contracted with us to meet their own sustainable energy objectives.”
Lodestone’s comprehensive phase one capital program encompasses the establishment of solar farms at various locations, including Kaitaia, Edgecumbe, Waiotahe, Whitianga, and Dargaville. Kaitaia represents the first of Lodestone’s solar farms to commence power generation.
According to Lodestone Energy, insights gained during the construction of Kaitaia are being applied to the planning and construction of future farms. The Edgecumbe farm is anticipated to be commissioned early in 2024, with the Waiotahe farm planned to commence generation later in the same year.
The Kaitaia farm, boasting over 61,000 solar panels, is projected to generate 55 GWh of power annually. This energy will serve both residential and commercial consumers, with The Warehouse Group notably committing all its stores to Lodestone’s phase one portfolio.
“We’re excited to provide New Zealanders with an alternative power option, as we continue to play a key role in helping the country transition to a 100 per cent renewable electricity market,” Holden said.