Solar farm to be built on station land

Barren land on Haldon Station in the Mackenzie country is set to be used for a solar farm. PHOTO:...
Barren land on Haldon Station in the Mackenzie country is set to be used for a solar farm. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Haldon Station is going solar.

The high-country station is partnering with Lodestone Energy to build a solar farm on a 340ha land parcel, the two groups said in a statement last week.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2025 and the farm will produce 340GWh per year at full capacity, generating enough renewable energy to power nearly 50,000 homes.

Haldon Station has been owned by the Klisser family for over three decades and spans more than 22,000ha.

The land chosen had suffered from significant wind erosion due to its dryness and pest infiltration.

The station spent several years investigating ways to reduce its net emissions along with options to utilise this non-productive area.

As well as generating power, the design of the farm will help with the regrowth of the grass below Haldon Station farm, manager Paddy Boyd said.

"We believe, from research and observation on other well-planned developments on the property, that the partial shade and shelter from the panels will result in a beneficial effect on the lands below and will result in revegetation of the original native fauna and flora.

"The station is planning for the area to be ring-fenced with rabbit netting and totally destocked to allow for full regeneration of the natural grasses."

Lodestone Energy has seen the demand for 100% renewable energy by commercial companies increase, managing director Gary Holden said.

They were "helping the country move towards a zero-carbon future", he said.

The project at Haldon Station is the fourth solar farm to be confirmed by the company this year.

It already has two North Island solar farms generating electricity, Kohirā and Rangitaiki, and three additional North Island projects under planning or construction.

The consent process for the project has begun but the partnership was unable to confirm the cost of the solar farm yesterday.

"By diversifying our production and expanding into the South Island, we’re helping meet our customers’ needs, giving them an alternative power option and playing a key role in meeting zero carbon goals", Mr Holden said.



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