English solar developers venture to New Zealand

Solar panels on top of coastal rocks in New Zealand (English)
Image: Shutterstock

English solar developers Hive Energy, Ethical Power Group and Solar South West have come together in a joint venture bound for New Zealand, with plans for 350MW of utility-scale installations.

The three English solar developers said they were attracted by the clear environmental commitments made by the New Zealand Government, the country’s lack of grid congestion and comparatively high levels of solar irradiation (solar yields within the country are typically 35-40 per cent higher than in the south west of the UK).

Hampshire-based Hive Energy said it had formed its HES Aotearoa JV with Ethical Power Group (of which Hive is a part owner) and installer and developer Solar South West.

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While the joint venture has not finalised plans for its New Zealand solar farms yet, Hive noted the commitment made by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government to have an entirely renewables-based electricity system this decade and its decision to stop issuing gas exploration licenses.

Hive CEO Giles Redpath said, “This new joint venture with Ethical Power and Solar South West presents an exciting opportunity to deliver Hive Energy’s mission to support a cleaner, greener future, through its pipeline of nearly 350MW of solar assets.

“New Zealand’s excellent natural conditions for solar energy, along with its opportunities for grid connections and support from the government, presents a unique opportunity for HES Aotearoa.”