Milestone utility-scale solar farm in NZ drives energy resilience through innovation


Owned by NewPower Energy and designed and built by sister company Infratec, the 4.8 MW solar
farm represents a significant step forward for energy resilience in Northland.

“We are thrilled to launch the Naumai solar farm,” said Grant Smith, NewPower Energy CEO. “This
project is not only contributing to New Zealand’s renewable energy goals, but also underscores our
‘partnership first’ approach and dedication to enhancing local communities.”

Located south of Dargaville on the North Island, Naumai reinforces Infratec’s commitment to innovation, using best-inclass technology and plant in the solar farm’s design and construction.

With commissioning near complete, the solar farm has been constructed with resiliency in mind, successfully withstanding the challenges posed by 2023’s record rainfall during its construction phase. This resilience ensures continued operation even in the face of severe weather events.

“Not only did we manage to complete the build during one of the wettest winters in Northland, Cyclone Gabrielle confirmed our design flood height assumptions and resilience measures. We’re proud to have achieved a new level of robustness with this solar farm,” said Nick Bibby, Infratec General Manager. “As New Zealand’s weather becomes more volatile, engineering at this level is a must and we’re proud to lead New Zealand in this.”

Infratec’s dedication to community energy resilience and local engagement is evident in its collaboration with the local Naumai marae and the employment of a predominantly local workforce.

“Naumai was developed in conjunction with Naumai marae and benefits from strong community connection,” said Bibby. “Developing skill within local communities is in our DNA. Collaborating with  local iwi and engaging local contractors are the best ways to ensure the community continues to benefit long-term.”

NewPower General Manager Ricky Smith said, “With 7,290 solar panels utilising the sun’s energy throughout the day, the Naumai solar farm will provide a substantial portion of the Ruawai district’s daytime energy needs, increasing the community’s energy resilience and contributing to New Zealand’s transition to 100% renewable energy.”

Infratec and NewPower Energy look forward to the Naumai solar farm’s continued success and are committed to driving the adoption of large-scale solar energy and battery storage across New Zealand, in alignment with the country’s renewable energy goals.

The two companies are also actively pursuing future opportunities to design and develop utility-scale solar and battery assets throughout New Zealand.