After three years of development and planning, it appears New Zealand company, Lodestone Energy,
will soon confirm that the development of a solar farm just south of Whitianga will be going ahead.
The planned farm will consist of 59,000 solar panels and produce up to 54GWh of electricity.
Because the sun rises early over Whitianga, which misses the last of the day’s sunlight, the Whitianga
solar farm is likely to be the first of Lodestone’s five planned locations to deploy battery storage,
enabling the farm to better meet evening demand in the area.
Lodestone Energy has recently announced that it was successful in raising the $300 million needed to
develop five solar farms. In addition to Whitianga, farms will also be developed in Kaitaia, Dargaville,
the Waiotahe Valley and Edgecumbe. The electricity generated by the company is forecast to be sold
to consumers via electricity retailers from the middle of next year.
Orchestrated by Garden Capital Investments, the farms are backed by a number of high-profile Kiwis,
including Sir Steven Tindall, Sam Morgan and Rod Drury.
“We’re pleased with the investor support and the team we have brought together to build Lodestone
and deliver these initial projects,” says Gary Holden, Managing Director of Lodestone Energy.
“Our goal is to be the leader in grid-scale solar in New Zealand and these first solar farms are just
the beginning. We see many more solar farms and the addition of battery storage as key planks in
moving Aotearoa towards becoming carbon neutral.”
Pictured is an artist’s impression of the Whitianga solar farm.