Ethical Power NZ forms alliance with New Energy

Ethical Power New Zealand, which last week was awarded a contract to build nine solar farms for Lodestone Energy, has formed a strategic alliance with New Energy, a subsidiary of Taranaki’s DrillCo, for ongoing construction support on solar projects.

With few hydro and geothermal development options left in New Zealand, large scale solar projects are likely to accelerate, and the combined efforts of Ethical Power NZ and New Energy will inject innovation and pace into the market.

The alliance will combine the design and procurement expertise of Ethical Power NZ with the local construction and engineering knowledge of New Energy, a Taranaki-based company with recent solar and wind farm installation experience.

Ethical Power NZ was established in New Zealand at the beginning of 2022 with the aim of expanding the UK company’s expertise in utility-grade solar farm engineering, procurement, and construction into this part of the world.

DrillCo, a New Plymouth-based civil construction company owned and operated by Scott and Hayley Walls, set up its New Energy business unit in 2022 to take its skills into the renewable energy sphere.

Ethical Power NZ Managing Director Matt Rowe says the agreement links the skills, experience, and business objectives of both companies.

“The agreement is essentially a first right of refusal agreement with New Energy. We plan to work with New Energy on a range of solar farm developments, including the engineering, procurement, and construction contracts we have for the recently announced Lodestone solar farms. However, it does not preclude us from working with other contractors in the future, if we reach capacity with New Energy,” Rowe says.

DrillCo Managing Director Scott Walls says New Energy was formed to focus entirely on sustainable and renewable energy projects.

“We are really excited about partnering with Ethical Power NZ. They are innovative and we are rapidly growing our expertise. I signed an agreement with Ethical Power as a new model of business co-operation that is mutually beneficial”, Walls says.

Ethical Power NZ and New Energy expect to start working together on the first projects in late 2023/early 2024.

Rowe says Ethical Power is discussing terms with other solar farm developers and expects to announce further engineering, procurement, and construction contracts in the coming months.

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