Aquila Capital and FNSF collaborate for 1GW Solar Farm in New Zealand

Highlights :

  • New Zealand currently has a target to reach 90 per cent RE supply by 2025.
  • Solar has not been a favoured option until now, thanks to abundant opportunities in Hydro, geo thermal and even Wind.

New Zealand will soon have a large-scale solar farm begin to produce 1GW. That is a big deal, because TOTAL solar capaciy in NEw Zealand has barely crossed 200 MW till date.

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German investment outfit Aquila Capital and local PV project developer Far North Solar Farm have joined their hands to collaborate to make this large-scale solar farm operational this year. In a statement released on May 12, both Aquila and FNSF expressed their keenness to make a start on the portfolio of solar projects they have been developing across NZ and which could total up to 1GW of combined capacity, once completed.

“We can’t wait to start constructing the solar PV sites we have planned and consented,” said FNSF NZ director, John Telfer adding further, “To be partnering with such a committed global investor in clean energy generation as Aquila Capital, and on the scale that we collectively intend, is exciting not only for us but also the entire country.”

Both the companies shared the journey detailing how significant capital and resources were invested to select, assess suitable project sites, obtain permits and consents to get them to “ready-to-build”-status – enough to get started on “a handful of selected projects” this year. As and when the 1GW pipelines are laid, it will put multiple project sites on a single thread across the North and South Island, supplying around 4 per cent of the country’s total annual energy demand, or around 11% of New Zealand’s current clean energy generation capacity.

“This partnership is ready to support the government’s emissions budget targets set to be announced by Climate Change Minister James Shaw next week and to help deliver on the promise of expanding the renewable energy sector within New Zealand,” Telfer said.

Significance lies in the fact that New Zealand currently has a target to reach 90 per cent renewable electricity supply by 2025, with levels sitting just over the 80% mark, mostly supplied by hydro, wind and geothermal resources.

Just last month, another collaboration of same kind was announced by Lightsource bp and NZ utility Contact Energy about their own plans for a big solar development spree across Aotearoa, targeting multiple projects of at least 50MW in size.

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