- Lightsource bp has announced a new JV for New Zealand market with local electricity retailer Contact Energy
- The JV will create up to 380,000 MWh of solar power generation by 2026 through grid scale capacity
- Electricity generated will be purchased by Contact Energy through long-term PPAs
Solar energy platform of global oil and gas major bp plc, Lightsource bp (LSbp) has entered the New Zealand market, its 18th globally, via a 50: 50 joint venture (JV) with local energy utility Contact Energy.
The JV aims for grid scale solar generation project capacity to create up to 380,000 MWh of solar power generation across the country by 2026. It will be enough to cater 50,000 homes in New Zealand.
Under the business model of the JV, it will source, develop and construct multiple solar farm projects with Contact Energy purchasing electricity generated through long-term power purchase agreements (PPA).
For Contact Energy that also operates in the broadband space, this collaboration is aimed at meeting ‘massive, anticipated demand’ for renewable electricity to contribute to the country’s decarbonization efforts. Through the JV, the duo expects to create around 500 construction jobs over the next 4 years.
They plan to reveal their 1st potential development site in the coming months while targeting its commissioning by 2024.
“Grid-scale solar generation is a natural fit for New Zealand’s current generation mix and this partnership sees an experienced and highly-regarded New Zealand generator and retailer join forces with our global solar expertise to create cost-competitive and reliable solar power,” said LSbp’s Australia and New Zealand Country Manager Adam Pegg.
For LSbp, the JV contributes to its long-term ambition of developing 25 GW of solar power capacity globally by 2025 (see Lightsource bp Targeting 25 GW Solar By 2025). At present it counts as having delivered more than 5.4 GW of utility scale solar power capacity.
Recently a local renewable energy company in New Zealand, Helios Energy said it has developed close to 1 GW solar energy pipeline for the country over the last 2 years (see 1 GW PV Pipeline For New Zealand).