December 19, 2022
Solar farm for winterless north
Solar power company Lodestone Energy has turned the sod near Kaitaia for what will be the country’s first utility-scale solar farm.
Managing director Gary Holden says the first of 60,000 solar panels will be installed in February, and power generation is expected in the third quarter of 2023.
The site is expected to generate 55 GWh (gigawatt hours) of power a year.
He says Lodestone is working closely with Te Rarawa to ensure it’s delivering for the local community.
The company is also reforesting seven hectares with native trees.
Its design allows machinery and livestock to co-exist around the solar arrays, meaning agriculture and grazing can continue.
Lodestone has further solar farms planned in Dargaville, Waiotahe Valley, Edgecumbe and Whitianga,.