Another company, British-based Island Green Power has revealed plans to build a large-scale solar farm in north Waikato’s Waiterimu Valley.
Genesis Energy is playing its cards close to its chest amid speculation it is interested in north Waikato land for a solar power project, possibly close to where the UK’s Island Green Power (IGP) is planning a development in the Waiterimu Valley.
However, one Waiterimu farmer said he had definitely been approached by Genesis about his land recently.
Asked about the talk of the company’s interest in land for solar at Waiterimu, Genesis was reluctant to go into any detail about where its interests lay in Waikato or elsewhere because the matter was “commercially sensitive”.
A company statement said Genesis has committed to deliver up to 500 megawatts of solar capacity over the next five years: “Locations for the solar developments will be mainly in the North Island with a focus on existing transmission connection points.
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“We are currently assessing sites and approaching landowners, and hope to announce our first solar location later this year. We’re looking across multiple regions and will confirm specific project locations when we’re in a position to do so,” the Genesis statement said.
The Waiterimu farmer who said he had been approached by Genesis – and who wanted to remain anonymous – told Stuff : “Yeah, we did [get approached] but I wasn’t really into that.”
Genesis had rung “out of the blue” about his property.
“I didn’t go on with it, I didn’t encourage them. They never rang back.”
The farmer said the property had been in his family for a long time and he would be very reluctant to sell.
Another Waiterimu farmer, Colin Hickey, said a consultant asked him what he would think and would he sell land if an energy company was interested in a local project. But there was no mention of Genesis in the discussion.
Some Waiterimu Valley locals say a large-scale solar farm will detract from the valley’s natural beauty.