New Zealand airport forms JV to develop on-site solar farm

Source: Longi Green Energy Technology (

June 4 (Renewables Now) - The Hawke’s Bay Airport in New Zealand has signed a joint-venture agreement with local power distributer Centralines Limited to examine the possibility of installing an on-site commercial solar farm of up to 10 MW.

The solar farm would be located on an empty lot west to the airport’s main runway, where building is limited due to height restrictions, according to the airport.

Hawke’s Bay said the pair will select technical partners and bring the project to an investment ready state. The goal is to set up a limited liability partnership through which the project could be funded and developed.

The airport will apply for resource consents to install up to 10 MW of arrays, which will likely be constructed in stages. This much capacity would not only be enough for the airport to meet its own needs, but it could also supply surplus electricity to external third parties, Hawke’s Bay added.

“We’re anticipating some significant innovation in the aviation industry, particularly post COVID-19 which could result in demand for electricity growing rapidly. This is already starting to happen on the landside of our business with electric and hybrid vehicles and if airlines pursue hybrid technology for short haul routes then this could grow exponentially. If this is the future then the scalable nature of the project will ensure the airport is in the best possible position to work collaboratively with key partners such as Air New Zealand," said Hawke's Bay Airport CEO Stuart Ainslie.

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