According to foreign media reports, Genesis Energy, a company owned by the New Zealand government, and FRV Australia, a renewable energy developer, recently announced plans to build a 52MW photovoltaic power station near Lauriston, South Island, New Zealand. After completion, the project will be the country's first utility scale photovoltaic power station.

The 90 hectare Lauriston photovoltaic power station purchased from Hive Energy, a British renewable energy developer, has obtained a grid connection license. Genesis Energy and FRV said that the construction of this project would begin in 2023. The project will use 80000 photovoltaic modules, which will generate about 80GWh of electricity each year. After the completion of the project in 2024, the sheep grazing industry will be reintroduced at the site.

The photovoltaic industry in New Zealand is still in its infancy. The majority of renewable energy in the country comes from geothermal, wind and hydropower stations, which account for about 80% of the country's electricity generation.

Although there is no utility scale photovoltaic power station in New Zealand to put into operation, some photovoltaic projects under development have been announced recently, including the 400MW photovoltaic power station planned by Todd Generation and the 147MW photovoltaic power station planned by Harmony Energy in the UK, both of which will be constructed in the North Island of New Zealand. Similarly, Lightsource bp and German investment manager Aquila Capital are also seeking to develop renewable energy portfolio in New Zealand.

Tracey Hickman, interim chief executive of the company, said: "There is a lot of news about the development of photovoltaic projects in New Zealand, but not many projects have land, licenses and grid connections at the same time."

It is precisely because of its rich experience in the development of utility scale photovoltaic projects that Genesis Energy decided to cooperate with FRV Australia, an Australian branch of FRV, which has been owned by Abdul LatifJameel Energy of Saudi Arabia since 2015.

It is reported that FRV Australia has built and delivered 800MW photovoltaic projects, of which about 250MW photovoltaic projects are under construction. At that time, the company said that it planned to expand its regional activities to the New Zealand market. Genesis Energy and FRV Australia plan to install 500MW photovoltaic system in New Zealand in the next five years.

Carlo Frigerio, the general manager of the company, said: "The company and Genesis Energy now have a very promising portfolio of photovoltaic projects, which is expected to be delivered in the next few years. Lauriston photovoltaic power station provides a supplement to our portfolio and is expected to become the first large photovoltaic power station in operation in New Zealand."

More broadly, Lauriston PV Power Station is a part of Genesis Energy's plan to achieve the goal of replacing 2650GWh thermal power generation with renewable energy by 2030.
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