Genesis Energy and FRV Australia partner in NZ solar development

Solar farm (Genesis FRV)

New Zealand’s Genesis Energy and Australian solar developer FRV Australia will partner to invest in solar energy farms that can produce enough power to support 100,000 households per year.

FRV Australia will bring its expertise in developing utility-scale solar projects around the world to work with Genesis in delivering up to 500MW of solar capacity over the next five years. This will generate about 750GWh per annum—enough to power 100,000 households or 185,000 EVs per year.

Locations for the solar developments will be mainly in New Zealand’s North Island with a focus on existing transmission connection points. The first location will be confirmed early next year.

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Genesis chief operations officer Nigel Clark said FRV won the competitive selection process with its experience in developing large-scale solar, particularly in emerging markets, access to global supply chain networks and cultural and strategic fit. FRV’s projects include a number of recent large-scale solar developments in Australia that have been highly successful.

“Genesis will bring our knowledge of the New Zealand market, stakeholder and Iwi relationships, consenting knowledge and property acquisition,” Clark says.

“The joint venture will maximise the capabilities of both parties, enabling us to achieve our ambition to become a leading developer of solar generation in New Zealand.”

Genesis will hold a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture, which will add to its generation portfolio of hydro, wind, geothermal and thermal sources of energy.

FRV Austalia managing director Carlo Frigerio said, “We are delighted to partner with Genesis and bring our regional experience in support of the development of large-scale solar farms in New Zealand. More than a decade ago, we came to Australia guided by the same pioneering spirit, and we intend to replicate our successful Australian experience in the New Zealand solar energy market.”

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The solar project contributes to Genesis’ Future-gen program of displacing 2650GWh of baseload thermal generation with new renewable power by 2030. It follows the opening of the Waipipi wind farm in Taranaki earlier this year, a power purchase agreement to enable the building of the Kaiwaikawe windfarm in Northland over the next three years, and another purchase agreement for power from the Tauhara geothermal plant being built near Taupō.

FRV Australia is one of the largest solar developers, asset owners and renewable energy platforms in Australia. The company has delivered almost 800MW solar projects, including approximately 250MW under construction. It is now able to expand its regional activities to the New Zealand energy market.