Lodestone Energy held at ground-breaking ceremony in Waiotahe yesterday, as construction gets underway on their brand new solar farm.
The solar farm bordering the Waiotahe River in the Ōpōtiki District will be Lodestone Energy's third and largest utility-scale solar farm to date.
According to Lodestone Energy, the 30MW farm will generate 69 GWh of power annually from over 70,000 solar panels – enough to supply more than 9,500 of Aotearoa’s homes and small businesses.
Gary Holden, Managing Director of Lodestone Energy, says this is another exciting step forward in the company’s vision of providing new renewable energy for customers across New Zealand.
“Our mission is to provide consumers with renewable power solutions to meet their sustainability targets while giving them long term economic certainty. As we build out more solar farms we can offer this to more customers nationwide.” Holden says.
Lodestone say, the Waiotahe solar farm is earmarked for residential and commercial energy consumers; most notably The Warehouse Group which has signed up all its stores to Lodestone’s phase 1 portfolio.
It's the second solar farm underway in the Eastern Bay, as work continues on their site in Edgecumbe. Lodestone Energy so far expect the Edgecumbe farm to be complete in early 2024.
Working closely with local iwi and stakeholders, as well as construction partners, Infratec and New Energy by Drillco, Lodestone say they are committed to delivering for the local community, bringing them employment opportunities in the region.
“At our Edgecumbe solar farm we were really pleased to be able to recruit approximately 80% of our mechanical team locally and we are looking to replicate this for our Waiotahe project. Some of the team from our Edgecumbe project are also being brought on to help with construction at Waiotahe as we want to leverage their skills and experiences to help deliver this project,” says Holden.
Image: Lodestone Energy.
Public Interest Journalism funded through New Zealand On Air.