- The project will be built on a 182-hectare site near Te Aroha
- This partnership will come up as a new movement for Clarus
Harmony Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with First Renewables, the clean energy subsidiary of gas-focused Clarus (formerly Firstgas Group). The aim of this partnership is to develop and own the 150 MW Tauhei Solar Farm, which will be established in the Waikato region on New Zealand’s North Island.
The project will be built on a 182-hectare site near Te Aroha, about 140 kilometres south of Auckland, and will comprise approximately 330,000 solar panels capable of generating more than 270 GWh of clean energy per year, enough to supply the equivalent of approximately 35,000 New Zealand homes.
This partnership will come up as a new movement for Clarus. It is one of New Zealand’s largest energy groups with transmission, distribution, supply and storage operations that service nearly half a million homes and businesses.
Clarus General Manager of Future Fuels, James Irvine, said the development of the Tauhei Solar Farm is an important milestone for the company and is in line with its commitment to help drive the decarbonisation of New Zealand’s energy system.
“Utility-scale solar generation presents a significant, complimentary, and largely untapped renewable energy source in New Zealand, as proven in many markets overseas,” he said.
“This project is an opportunity for us to build on our desire to deliver renewable energy to meet the needs of energy consumers.”
A final investment decision on the Tauhei Solar Farm, which secured development approval in 2022 under fast-track consenting legislation introduced to speed up infrastructure development, is expected later this year, pending regulatory approvals.
Construction is also expected to commence this year with Harmony Energy Director Pete Grogan saying the project will enhance New Zealand’s energy security and help mitigate the negative impact of climate change.
“It will also create opportunities for local businesses, employment and significant biodiversity gains, as well as generating energy alongside continued farming production,” he said.