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Kohirā Solar Farm

Building a Greener Future

  • Location: Far North
  • Year: 2023

In early 2023, Connell Contractors set our sights on the Far North, partnering with New Energy, Infratec, and Lodestone Energy to deliver New Zealand’s largest solar farm near Kaitaia.

The Kohirā Solar Farm opened in February 2024, with 61,000 solar panels generating power for approximately 50,000 homes in the north.

The Connell team was onsite from early 2023, supported by FNR Group, to deliver roading, foundations, ground improvement, and drainage works for the 64ha site.

We upgraded the existing internal road network and the main access road to provide a smooth flow of traffic, essential throughout construction. Following that, we built a new access road directly to the solar farm base for moving materials and personnel with ease.

Given the nature of the project, ground improvement and foundation works were paramount. Our expertise came into play, ensuring a solid base for the solar farm and installing a drainage culvert to safeguard the farm from water-related issues. Our team also installed a temporary laydown area to streamline site operations.

Senior Estimator Tejinder Sadhar said the Far North presented unique ground conditions.

“Peat soil and fluctuating groundwater levels, especially during winter, demanded innovative solutions. However through meticulous planning, assembling the right team and having the right resources in place, we successfully anticipated and overcame obstacles we faced,” said TJ.

Lodestone General Manger Nick Murray said the Connell team was ‘competent, motivated and agile’.

“Connell delivered everything we needed, with plenty of shared learnings for future projects,” said Nick.

Following the successful delivery of Kohirā Solar Farm, Connell partnered with Lodestone again to deliver Rangitaiki Solar Farm in Edgecumbe and e Herenga o Te Rā Solar Farm in Waiotahe. We’re proud to help lay the foundations for the future of renewable energy in New Zealand.

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