Energise Ōtaki’s Solar Farm was officially opened by Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Finance Minister Grant Robertson on 30 September 2020.

After a blessing from Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki, who also gifted the name of Rau Kūmara for the Wastewater Treatment Plant solar farm, the ministers officially opened the Rau Kūmara site together with Energise Ōtaki chair Leigh Ramsey.

James Shaw and Grant Robertson with Energise Otaki chairman Leigh Ramsey, right. Photo / Paul Williams

After a visit to the Wastewater Treatment Plant the event moved to Ōtaki College where the second part of the Energise Ōtaki Solar Farm is located.

The two sites will reduce greenhouse gases by about 23 tonnes a year and produce about $25,000 a year for the Energise Ōtaki investment fund. Project Leader Gael Ferguson said, “The fund will be used for community-driven energy-related projects in Ōtaki and for wider community benefit.”

This is New Zealand’s first community solar farm, and Energise Ōtaki are proud to have partnered with Kāpiti Coast District Council, Wellington Community Trust, Ōtaki College, Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki and Infratec Ltd to create this unique, community-based renewable energy system.

Read about it from the local newspapers: