New Zealand’s ‘1st’ Utility Scale Solar Farm Online

Lodestone Energy Switches on Kiwi Nation’s Largest Solar Installation To Date With Agrivoltaic Design

New Zealand’s ‘1st’ Utility Scale Solar Farm Online

Lodestone Energy says the Kaitaia Solar Farm (in the picture) is designed to promote farming activities on site. (Photo Credit: Lodestone Energy)

  • Lodestone Energy has energized the Kaitaia Solar Farm in New Zealand, calling it the country’s 1st utility-scale PV project 
  • It is part of the company’s phase I capital program under which Lodestone plans to commission more solar farms 
  • The Warehouse Group has signed up to receive power from this phase I for all its stores 

Lodestone Energy of New Zealand has brought online what it says is the 1st utility-scale solar farm of the country to bid into the electricity market, and the largest to date. The Kaitaia project is also the country’s 1st solar farm to have an agrivoltaic design to maintain farming activity, according to the company. 

While it doesn’t specify the installed capacity of the project, the facility with more than 61,000 bifacial solar panels will generate 55 GWh of power annually and is earmarked for residential and commercial energy consumers. 

Lodestone says that the Kaitaia project is the 1st of Lodestone’s solar farms to have come online as part of its phase I capital program that also includes solar farms at Edgecumbe, Waiotahe, Whitianga and Dargaville. Local discount department store retailer The Warehouse Group has signed up all of their stores to the solar company’s phase I portfolio. 

Lodestone will use the experience gained during the construction of Kaitaia farm to plan and build its future portfolio. The 2nd project under phase I at Edgecumbe is scheduled for commissioning in early 2024, to be followed by the 3rd farm Waiotahe, in late 2024. 

New Zealand is looking at speeding up its renewable energy pace to become one of the earliest nations to reach 100% renewable energy target, up from 80% currently thanks to hydropower. In August 2023, the government roped in BlackRock to support it in its climate ambitions (see NZD 2 Billion Fund For New Zealand’s RE Plans). 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. --Email: [email protected]

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