Lodestone Energy is pioneering, at a significant scale, utility-scale solar agri-voltaics in New Zealand. Upon completion, Lodestone’s solar electricity generated across its five farms will increase solar generation in New Zealand by 8 times the 2021 levels. Once it is built, Lodestone is likely to be the largest grid scale solar development in New Zealand. Replacing fossil fuel energy generation with renewables is key to New Zealand meeting its national and international climate obligations.
In addition, Lodestone will make a significant contribution to the New Zealand government goal of achieving 100% renewable generation in the energy sector by 2030 (Our current renewable electricity generation is approximately 80%).
As well as producing electricity, the farms will continue to support agriculture and horticulture production. The panels will be high enough, and spaced sufficiently, to allow farming and cropping to continue underneath.
The initial 5 sites are expected to generate 375,000,000 kWh per year, which is enough electricity for 55,000 homes (that is all the homes in a city the size of Hamilton), or 150,000 electric cars.
Purpose Capital led a $10M syndicated investment into Lodestone Energy. The Purpose Capital impact syndicate consisted of Purpose Capital Impact Fund, Trust Horizon, Tauhara North No2 Trust, as well as investors from the Purpose Capital Impact Fund.
“We are proud to join an all New Zealand group of investors including Jarden Principal Investments, Guy Haddleton, Rod Drury, Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan and Fady Mishriki. We are also pleased Lodestone chose Waikato based Infratec as their EPC Contractor. This helps us build and retain the skills we’ll need to scale solar in New Zealand” says Bill Murphy Executive Director, Purpose Capital.
“Historically we’ve viewed solar photovoltaics in New Zealand as unviable and an uneconomical means of electricity generation. However, the decade from 2010 to 2020 saw the cost of solar energy decrease by 85%, putting it on a par with wind energy as having the lowest Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE*) over both renewable and non-renewable forms of generation.” says Purpose Capital’s Senior Associate Nick Pacey.
*LCOE is defined as the price at which the generated electricity should be sold for the system to break even at the end of its lifetime.
The Lodestone team includes:
- Gary Holden as CEO (President/CEO of numerous NZ/Canadian energy companies over the last 25 years – including electricity mass market retail and infrastructure)
- Chris Jewell as CFO (Former Genesis CFO / GM of Strategy)
- Tony Nagel as General Counsel and Company Secretary (Former GM of Corporate Affairs at Mercury NZ)
- Peter Apperley as General Manager Engineering (Head of Solar at Jacobs, Solarcity NZ, Infratec Renewables, and Meridian)
- Daniel Cunningham as Director of Development (Renewables/solar development experience at Greengate Power Co and Travers Solar)