ZB

Lodestone raises $300m for solar farms

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jun 2022, 4:25pm
Lodestone Energy's first solar energy farm at Kaitaia will be producing electricity next year. Image / Supplied
Lodestone Energy's first solar energy farm at Kaitaia will be producing electricity next year. Image / Supplied

Lodestone raises $300m for solar farms

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Jun 2022, 4:25pm

By RNZ

Lodestone Energy has finished raising $300m in capital to fund the developments, with a final round of financing drawing support from Jarden Principal Investments, a Purpose Capital consortium, Guy Haddleton, Rod Drury, Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan and Fady Mishriki among others.

Lodestone managing director Gary Holden said it had weathered many obstacles such as the pandemic, market volatility, and supply chain disruptions to get the money and logistics of the project ready to start building 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 beginning. We see many more solar farms and the addition of battery storage as key planks moving Aotearoa towards becoming carbon neutral."

He said building of the first farm would start later this year near Kaitaia, with more than 58,000 panels, which would start supplying electricity directly to local lines company Top Energy from the middle of next year.

Two more farms are planned for Northland, with one apiece in Coromandel and the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Holden said solar could be built quicker than any other energy generation technology and the company would be naming its retail partners soon.

A large number of solar projects have been announced in the past few months, most recently a potential $1 billion long term programme involving Far North Solar Farm (FNSF) and German sustainable investment manager Aquila Capital.