SEANZ member, gentailer Genesis Energy has announced it is in advanced planning to build a 300MW solar farm in the northern Waikato. The farm will be New Zealand's biggest solar farm by a big margin and is another indicator that the economics of electricity generation have tipped in favour of commercial and large-scale solar.
SEANZ Chair Brendan Winitana says "this is a fantastic signal for the industry, solidifying the importance of solar in the mix of generation as not only cost-competitive to other large scale generation options but also for reducing carbon emissions".
Genesis Energy have released little detail on the plan but with the project in the early stages of development it is expected to be a couple of years before the farm comes fully online.
In a statement released this week Genesis Energy said:
"The Genesis Future-gen programme continues to identify multiple renewable opportunities to transition away from baseload thermal generation and deliver on our commitment to no longer use coal during a normal hydrological year by 2025. This will ensure the continued delivery of reliable and affordable electricity, key to enabling the decarbonisation and electrification of other industry sectors.
Construction has now begun on the new 450 GWh per annum Waipipi Windfarm in Taranaki, through the Tilt Renewables partnership. It will be operational in 2021 and Genesis will buy its entire output of zero-emissions, renewable electricity.
Genesis has also agreed key terms for a 300 MW solar farm in the upper North Island to generate a further 550 GWh per annum of electricity. Combined with Waipipi, these two projects will collectively enable a reduction of 550,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum".