Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lodestone gears up for new solar builds

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Energy firm signs for $250m ANZ debt facility with expansion in mind.
Lodestone Energy and ANZ have agreed to a conditional debt facility to support the construction of new solar farms across the country. Photo: Lodestone Energy 
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Solar company Lodestone Energy says it has commenced with the next phase of its capital raising programme through a $250 million debt facility from ANZ Bank.

The solar energy firm and bank have agreed to a conditional debt facility to support the construction of new solar farms across New Zealand beyond the five that Lodestone has already announced.

The next phase will see ANZ and Lodestone finalising credit approval for the fully engineered sites.

Lodestone managing director Gary Holden said the partnership cements the company’s position as the “national leader in solar energy generation”.

“We’re already well underway with our first programme of work, with construction in progress at Kaitāia and Edgecumbe, as well as early work on sites in Waiotahe, Whitianga and Dargaville,” he said.

Lodestone started building its first grid-scale solar farm, a 56-gigawatt hour (GWh) plant near Kaitāia, in December last year and announced it had started building its second solar farm in NZ, in the Bay of Plenty, back in March. 

The solar company is also planning a 90 GWh solar farm near Dargaville, a 79 GWh farm in the Waiotahe Valley in the Bay of Plenty, and a 51 GWh farm near Whitianga.

Holden said the partnership with ANZ will allow the company to commit to further solar developments. 

“This supports our mission of bringing next-generation renewable energy across the country at a scale New Zealand hasn’t seen before,” he said.

ANZ’s head of resource, energy and infrastructure, Karl Nicholson, said the transaction demonstrates ANZ’s commitment to supporting renewable energy development.

In 2021, Lodestone announced its first solar farm portfolio in five Far North, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty locations. Beyond this, Lodestone continues to scope further locations for farms.

“This deal accelerates progress towards achieving New Zealand’s renewable energy goals and demonstrates both companies’ commitment to helping the country meet its net-zero emissions objectives,” Holden said.

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