Lightsource bp to form solar JV with New Zealand's Contact Energy

Solar power plant. Image source: Lightsource bp.

April 21 (Renewables Now) - Lightsource bp has joined forces with New Zealand utility Contact Energy to develop grid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in New Zealand to produce up to 380,000 MWh of electricity annually by 2026.

The companies will target multiple projects across the country through a newly-created joint venture, they said in a joint statement on Thursday. The 50/50-owned entity plans to start power generation by 2024.

While details about the specific projects were not available, the partners said they will provide information on their first potential development site in the coming months.

The output of the proposed PV parks is estimated to be enough to cover the consumption of 50,000 homes per year. According to the agreement, Contact will be able to purchase the generated power through a long-term off-take deal.

The initiative is expected to open around 500 construction jobs over the next four years.

Lightsource bp, the UK-based solar developer half-owned by BP Plc (LON:BP), has committed to expanding its global solar portfolio to 25 GW by 2025. In line with the plan, the company this week unveiled plans to build a 400-MW DC solar park with battery storage in New South Wales, Australia.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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