New Zealand Power Company Reaches Financial Close on Large Scale Solar Farm

New Zealand power and gas firm Genesis and joint venture partner, FRV Australia, have completed the financial close on their 63 MW solar farm to be built at Lauriston on the Canterbury Plains.

Located one hour’s drive from Christchurch, the solar farm is on a 93-hectare site and once operational, will power the equivalent of nearly 13,000 houses. It is expected to create more than 50 jobs during the construction phase and employ up to three full-time staff when operational.

Construction contracts have been confirmed, initial work is underway, and procurement of key equipment has started. The expected construction costs are approximately NZ$104 million.

The joint venture also signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Genesis Energy who will take all the renewable energy from the site.

This is the largest solar farm in New Zealand to reach financial close and first electricity is expected late this year. The original capacity was estimated at 52 MW but through engineering optimisation has been increased to 63 MW.

The partners are also assessing three North Island sites with a combined capacity of up to 400 MW as Genesis focuses on moving to around 95% renewable generation by 2035.

Genesis Energy’s Chief Wholesale Officer, Tracey Hickman, said: “Solar has a clear role to play in New Zealand’s energy transition as a renewable source of generation. It will enable us to provide cleaner energy to our customers, while also reducing emissions from our generation portfolio as Genesis invests in new renewable generation and moves to become net zero by 2040.”