Lodestone Energy raises $300m for five solar farms

Concept of one of Lodestone Energy's planned solar power stations custom crop. Photo: Supplied

A company looking to build five large scale solar farms, with one in Coromandel and one in Eastern Bay of Plenty, has got the financial backing of some well heeled and known investors.

Lodestone Energy has finished raising $300m in capital to fund the developments, with a final round of financing drawing support from Jarden Principal Investments, a Purpose Capital consortium, Guy Haddleton, Rod Drury, Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan and Fady Mishriki among others.

Lodestone managing director Gary Holden says it had weathered many obstacles such as the pandemic, market volatility, and supply chain disruptions to get the money and logistics of the project ready to start building the first farm.

"Our goal is to be the leader in grid-scale solar in New Zealand and these first solar farms are just the beginning. We see many more solar farms and the addition of battery storage as key planks moving Aotearoa towards becoming carbon neutral."

He says building of the first farm would start later this year near Kaitaia, with more than 58,000 panels, which would start supplying electricity directly to local lines company Top Energy from the middle of next year.

Lodestone managing director Gary Holden. Photo: Supplied

Two more farms are planned for Northland, with one apiece in Coromandel and the eastern Bay of Plenty.

Holden says solar could be built quicker than any other energy generation technology and the company would be naming its retail partners soon.

A large number of solar projects have been announced in the past few months, most recently a potential $1 billion long term programme involving Far North Solar Farm - FNSF - and German sustainable investment manager Aquila Capital.


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If we were really serious...

Posted on 09-06-2022 12:56 | By morepork

... about an electrical future, we’d be building a fusion reactor (at least one; maybe two...) and that would meet all of our energy needs for homes and transport for at least 200 years... Remove all the emotions from the energy argument and this emerges as the best option.


Posted on 08-06-2022 14:06 | By overit

Good luck, great news

Addition Of Battery Storage

Posted on 08-06-2022 13:55 | By Bob Landy

Large scale battery storage is nowhere near developed so when will the “addition” happen. Meanwhile, what will the essential backup be?

Tom Ranger

Posted on 08-06-2022 12:13 | By Tom Ranger

Solar is clearly not the answer to our energy woes. Too Inconsistent. But if combined with Water pump/turbine tech. So...use solar power to pump water to Main up-hill reservoir when have too much power to put on grid or power is cheap (When the suns out). Then when demand is high. Water flows down over the turbine to secondary reservoir. Make better cash that way when price/demand is high instead of trickle feeding it back into the grid when power is cheap.

This is ridiculous

Posted on 08-06-2022 11:17 | By Let's get real

The first site in Northland is destined to remove around 80 hectares of land from the community to grow electricity for profit rather than food to eat. Let’s be honest about New Zealand for a change... We’re never going to change the climate whatever practices we put in place, but we can carry on feeding ourselves and the world and earn good income from overseas exports. How are we going to export supposedly green electricity....? And who believes that power prices will fall... certainly not the investors.

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