Lightyears Solar announced today the 3.4 MW Naumai Solar Farm on the northern Kaipara is shovel ready. The project is fully consented and expected to be delivering power by the end of summer.
‘We’re excited to be able to take this project into the construction phase as the first in our planned 100 MW portfolio’ said Sean Tobin of Lightyears Solar. The solar farm will have 7,500 solar panels that track the movement of the sun across the day. ‘Large scale solar is set to take off in NZ and along with wind generation will contribute towards our energy transition to 100% renewables. The solar farm will provide most of Ruawai’s daytime energy needs and contribute towards energy independence in Northland.’
The solar farm will be built on 5.5 hectares of rural land with commissioning expected in time for the summer peak. ‘We’re pleased to play a part in bringing large scale solar to NZ and look forward to bringing more projects online over the next year. Our next couple of projects will be trialling mixed land use, which we’ve had a lot of interest in from farmers. We are seeing this trend overseas and we know of other NZ solar companies trialling solar and horticulture.’
Lightyears Solar have several other projects in the consenting phase. A 5 MW solar farm on a grazing block is currently being consented in Paeroa. The 1.5 MW Waiuku project has been designed to allow pigs to graze under the panels. The productive use of marginal land in Kaipara has been well received by local farmers.
The Naumai project has taken 12 months to reach shovel ready stage. ‘We’ve been working with Northpower in Whangarei over the last year on the grid connection and electrical aspects of the project. Other contractors are from Dargaville and Whangarei so it’s been great to have some local involvement in the project.’
Whilst some electricity generated from the project will make its way back to the national grid, most of the electricity is expected to be consumed within the local distribution area, offsetting non-renewable energy imported into the region.
Lightyears Solar was founded in 2019 with plans to build a 100 MW portfolio of solar farms connected to NZ’s distribution networks. The company founders have experience in large scale solar overseas in South East Asia and the Pacific.
For media interviews contact Matt Shanks, Lightyears Solar on 0274 278 930
More information is available at www.lightyearssolar.co.nz