Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Local solar farm on track

Local solar farm on track

The development of a large scale solar site near Lauriston is still on track to start generating electricity in 2024.

Genesis Energy and its joint venture partner FRV Australia announced plans to develop a 90-hectare site and install about 80,000 solar panels earlier this year.

They have confirmed that plans are on track to start construction early next year, pending the final investment decision which is expected before Christmas. They hope to contribute green energy to the local grid before the end of 2024.

Once operational, the solar farm will generate about 80 gwh of renewable electricity each year. The site will produce approximately 13% of Electricity Ashburton's annual energy needs, using just 0.03% of the land, and sheep will still be able to graze under the panels.

The green power will be fed into Electricity Ashburton (EA) Networks’ Lauriston zone substation.

The solar farm is designed to allow dual use of the land with sheep grazing.

The site is fully consented, with advanced grid connection approval and will be one of the first operational large-scale solar farm in the country.

By Sharon Davis