FRV Australia and Genesis buy large-scale solar site in NZ

Blue sky and fluffy white clouds reflected in solar panel array (CIP elgin)
Image: iStock

FRV Australia is progressing quickly with the expansion of its activities in New Zealand working under a joint venture agreement with NZ electricity generator Genesis, which is the largest electricity and natural gas retailer in the country.

FRV Australia and Genesis formed a JV in late 2021 to develop up to 500MW of solar capacity over the next five years in New Zealand. This is expected to generate about 750GWh per annum—enough to power 100,000 households or 185,000 EVs per year. 

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Together they have acquired a new 93ha large-scale solar site an hour’s drive from Christchurch. The proposed 52MW Lauriston Solar Farm will power the equivalent of 9,800 houses. It is expected to create more than 50 jobs during the construction phase and employ up to three full-time staff when operational.

Initially developed by the United Kingdom based Hive Energy, Lauriston is fully consented, among the furthest advanced large-scale solar projects sites in the country, and expected begin construction later this year.

FRV Australia CEO Carlo Frigerio said the site ticked a lot of boxes and would be up and running quickly.

“FRV Australia and Genesis have worked together during the past year and developed a very promising pipeline of solar projects expected to be delivered in the coming years. Lauriston solar farm is posed to be the first large scale solar farm reaching operational stage in the country,” Frigerio said.

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Genesis interim CEO Tracey Hickman said, “This is another milestone for our Future-gen strategy that is focused on developing 2,650GWh of new renewable generation by 2030 as we work hard to displace thermal fuel from our generation portfolio.

“Solar is a good addition to New Zealand’s generation mix and when it reaches scale it will play an important role in helping manage dry year risk when hydro levels are low and the wind doesn’t blow.”

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