June 21, 2024

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Genesis Energy plans to invest $NZ600 million in solar projects in New Zealand

Genesis Energy plans to invest $NZ600 million in solar projects in New Zealand

Genesis Energy, New Zealand’s largest provider of electricity and natural gas, has announced plans to play a major role in the country’s solar energy industry. The company has selected three sites in the Manawatu, Waikato and Hawke’s Bay regions to install up to 400 megawatts (MW) of solar power. The projects, valued at $NZ600 million ($555 million), are estimated to be operational by 2026, subject to meeting regulatory requirements and investment deadlines.

As the demand for electricity in New Zealand continues to grow, interest in solar power is increasing. Energy regulator Transpower estimates that demand will increase by 60-80 percent by 2050, which would require the country’s generation capacity to increase to 13.1 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. To achieve this, they would need 4.4 GW of new. Large scale wind and solar power. By 2050, generation capacity should reach 22.7 GW, of which 12.6 GW will come from wind and solar and 2.5 GW from storage.

Solar power has gained popularity due to its affordability and speedy installation process compared to other renewable options. The increased use of electric vehicles and corporate demand have put pressure on New Zealand’s current electricity supply, making solar power a potential solution. Craig Brown, head of the Genesis Solar Project, explains that electric vehicles and the decarbonization of manufacturing processes are contributing to the increase in electricity demand.

Currently, the largest solar plant operating in New Zealand is the 2.1 MW Kapuni plant operated by Nova Energy. Other companies such as Contact Energy and Lodestone Energy are also developing their own large-scale solar projects.

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Solar power is most useful in New Zealand during the summer months, when hydropower generation is minimal due to low water levels and scheduled maintenance outages. Genesis Energy views solar and hydro as compatible, and believes that adding wind and solar power to the grid can be a solution to flexibly using hydro for peak power.

Genesis Energy’s transition to solar power is consistent with the nation’s renewable energy goals and its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By adding 400 MW of solar capacity, the company hopes to meet growing electricity demand while displacing electricity from coal and gas.

– Genesis Energy plans $NZ600m solar development
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