New Zealand airport intends 150-MW solar park as part of wider project

Dec 3, 2021 03:22 PM ET
  • Christchurch Airport in New Zealand's eponymous city is creating a renewable resource park that will initially feature a 150-MW solar energy center, with plans to include battery storage and also green hydrogen capabilities in future.
New Zealand airport intends 150-MW solar park as part of wider project
Image: worradirek/

Australian renewables mutual fund Solar Bay is dedicating NZD 100 million (USD 68.1 m/EUR 60m) to fund the development of Phase One of the website, which is called Kowhai Park. Energy and infrastructure consultant Worley (ASX: WOR) is also behind the initiative.

Christchurch Airport has dedicated an overall of 400 hectares to Kowhai Park, with the planned solar array to span 220 hectares. The place is close to the runways, to power supplier Orion's network and also to grid driver Transpower's lines. It is consequently suited to establishing a variety of renewable resource projects as it expands over the next 30 years.

The output from the initial phase will certainly suffice to power 30,000 houses, covering around 20% of Christchurch's present residential electricity use.

"There is nothing else similar to this in New Zealand-- it's cutting-edge, much ahead of its time and also absolutely world-leading in every feeling. The Phase One solar array is 50 times larger than any kind of existing array in the country-- and it's simply the start," Solar Bay's investment director Jack Sherratt claimed.

According to Christchurch Airport chief executive Malcolm Johns, Kowhai Park will progress climate adjustment targets in the more comprehensive New Zealand economy.

"We've minimized 90% of our direct discharges as well as we get on track to be carbon zero well before the city's objective of 2030 and New Zealand's goal of 2050. We want to allow the remainder of the economic situation to decarbonise at the fastest feasible rate," Johns said.

Christchurch Airport will certainly complete the scoping work with the project to share with interested celebrations by very early 2022. Kowhai Park could be prepared to go live from 2025.

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