Lodestone Energy takes important step at its Solar Farm at Waiotahe
Solar energy company, Lodestone Energy, has entered into a Transmission Works Agreement (TWA) with Transpower for its Waiotahe Solar Farm in the Bay of Plenty.
This is the company’s first agreement with Transpower as Lodestone’s other four solar farm sites are connected to distribution companies Top Energy, Northpower, Horizon and Powerco.
Gary Holden, Managing Director of Lodestone Energy, says, “This milestone agreement is important as it is another step towards bringing our portfolio of sites to fruition.
“Our recent announcements to bring solar power to retail customers require a full pipeline of construction over the next 30 months. This site is slotted in as our third site to come on line and should be operating in 2024.”
The fully resource consented farm in the Waiotahe Valley, east of Whakatane, will be an 87 GWh solar farm in one of the sunniest locations in New Zealand and will contain 89,000 solar panels.
“The site is located within the rohe of Te Upokorehe Iwi. Lodestone has developed a working relationship with Upokorehe hapū and Iwi who have provided cultural advice and facilitated community engagement,” says Gary.
Transpower recently announced a new set of rules that governs how generation projects will queue for connections, but Waiotahe, which has been under development since 2020, is ahead of those rules.
Daniel Cunningham, Lodestone’s GM, Development adds, “We are happy with this agreement as it demonstrates Transpower can act quickly and effectively to enable renewable energy to come on stream as efficiently as possible.
“We would like to thank Transpower for their commitment to engaging with the market to ensure the rules for connection encourage developments in an organised manner.”
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