A company seeking to build five large-scale solar farms, including one in Coromandel and one in the eastern Bay of Plenty, has secured financial backing from well-heeled and well-known investors.
Lodestone Energy has completed raising $300 million in capital to fund the developments, with a final round of funding with backing from Jarden Principal Investments, a Purpose Capital consortium, Guy Haddleton, Rod Drury, Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan and Fady Mishriki , among others.
Lodestone chief executive Gary Holden said he overcame many hurdles such as the pandemic, market volatility and supply chain disruptions to prepare the money and logistics for the project to begin. build the first farm.
“Our goal is to be the leader in grid-scale solar in New Zealand and these first solar farms are just the start. We are seeing many more solar farms and the addition of battery storage as key elements in getting Aotearoa to become carbon neutral.”
He says construction of the first farm will start later this year near Kaitaia, with more than 58,000 panels, which will start supplying electricity directly to local line company Top Energy from mid-year. next.
Gary Holden, CEO of Lodestone. Photo: Supplied
Two more farms are planned for Northland, including one in Coromandel and East Bay of Plenty.
Holden says solar could be built faster than any other power-generating technology and the company would soon name its retail partners.
A slew of solar projects have been announced in recent months, most recently a potential long-term $1 billion program involving Far North Solar Farm – FNSF – and German sustainable investment manager Aquila Capital.