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Lodestone Energy’s second solar farm now fully operational

Lodestone Energy’s second solar farm now fully operational

Ngāti Awa bestow official site name, Rangitaiki

Lodestone Energy, New Zealand’s leading solar generation company, is continuing to deliver new renewable energy at pace with its second utility scale solar farm, Rangitaiki, now producing power in the Bay of Plenty region.

Located a few kilometres from Edgecumbe, the site’s official name, Rangitaiki, was gifted by Ngāti Awa. Rangitaiki is associated with both the plains and river, with strong meaning to most iwi within the rohe.

Construction of the solar farm started in March 2023, with a team of more than 130 construction staff, many of whom were from the local community.  

Lodestone will sell the Rangitaiki production, over 50 GWh per annum, into the market through long-term contracts, including 25 North Island stores that are part of The Warehouse Group. 

Gary Holden, Managing Director of Lodestone Energy, says adding this second site within months of commissioning Kaitaia is part of the company’s plan to build its Phase 1 sites by the end of 2025. 

“We are on a fast-track path to contribute to a consumer-base that is increasingly using more electricity. We believe that engaging customers to be part of the solution is key to keeping the energy transition moving forward and for keeping electricity prices in check.” 

With two farms completed, and our third farm in Waiotahe on track to be generating by the end of the year, we are pleased that Lodestone and its customers are joining forces at this critical time.” says Holden.

Lodestone’s construction partners, Infratec and New Energy, are playing a key role in helping deliver its Phase 1 sites in an ambitious timeframe. Lodestone also has recently awarded the operations and maintenance contract for its five Phase 1 solar sites to NewPower Energy (a WEL Network subsidiary).

Lodestone successfully completed an equity raise of $55 million earlier this year, funding the pre-construction of its Phase 2 projects which will see Lodestone include South Island locations. Overall, Lodestone has put together $600 million in capital across its Phase 1 and 2 portfolio and is planning another raise at the end of the year. Lodestone’s ambitious plan requires a concentrated effort to build new sites continuously through 2025 and 2026.

“We already have customers in both islands and diversifying our production locations is part of serving them most effectively. The South Island has many regions that have plenty of sunshine and land suitable for solar. In the end, like Edgecumbe and Kaitaia, we believe that each population area will have some solar production, and we are dedicated to making sure this happens as soon as possible,” Holden added. 

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