New Zealand Government

New Zealand’s biggest solar farm to be built at Christchurch Airport

Published by

A 150MW solar farm – by far the biggest in New Zealand to date – is to be built at Christchurch Airport, and funded by Australian-based renewable energy fund Solar Bay.

The solar farm – said to be big enough to power the equivalent of 20 per cent of Christchurch homes – will be built on a 400 hectare lot of land called Kōwhai Park, and is likely to be expanded in coming years.

“There is nothing else like this in New Zealand – it’s innovative, far ahead of its time and absolutely world-leading in every sense,” said Jack Sherratt, the investment director of Solar Bay.

“The Phase One solar array is 50 times larger than any existing array in the country – and it’s just the beginning.”

Solar Bay is investing $100 million in the solar farm, and Sherratt says the location is ideal, close to the country’s second largest city, located on “flat and sunny” plans, and close to transmission lines. “It’s the ultimate site,” he said in a statement.

Kōwhai Park will also support the future development of green fuel production for land and air transport, green data centres and green vertical farming, and airport CEO Malcolm Johns said it was part of the airport’s plan to become climate positive over the coming decade.

“Over the past decade, our team has systematically decarbonised our business,” Johns said. “We’ve reduced 85 percent of our direct emissions and we’re on track to be carbon zero well before the city’s goal of 2030 and New Zealand’s goal of 2050.

“We want to enable the rest of the economy to decarbonise at the fastest possible rate. That is what Kōwhai Park is about.”

Lies, myths and greenwashing. Good independent journalism is time-consuming and costly. But small independent media sites like RenewEconomy have been excluded from the tens of millions of dollars being handed out to big media companies from the social media giants. To enable us to continue to hold government and business to account, to cut through the lies and the misinformation about the renewable transition, and to help expand our work, you can make a voluntary donation here to help ensure we can continue to offer the service free of charge and to as wide an audience as possible. Thank you for your support.

Published by

Recent Posts

Hexagon teams up with FRV to add solar to hydrogen and ammonia hubs

Hexagon and FRV to look at adding solar component to planned "clean hydrogen" hubs and…

25 January 2022

Audi e-tron: I can’t hear it, but I can feel it

We have a look at the Audi e-Tron, the big electric SUV. And this one…

25 January 2022

Australian wave energy technology gets backing from Japanese shipping giant

Australian founded wave energy technology gets investment boost from Japanese shipping giant, leading to a…

25 January 2022

Albanese: No tricks in Labor’s “straightforward” climate and clean energy plan

Albanese says Labor has presented a costed, effective, climate change policy, while Morrison's net zero…

25 January 2022

Renewables key to making electricity supplies affordable in remote communities

ANU researchers say many households in remote communities experience frequent power disconnections and solar could…

25 January 2022

Fortescue thinking big on heavy EVs, and WA green energy hub

Fortescue says initial focus of WAE purchase will be on electrifying heavy vehicles, rather than…

25 January 2022