NZGIF’s investment in Rural Energy boosting uptake of solar on dairy farms

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New Zealand Green Investment Finance’s (NZGIF) investment in Rural Energy is already helping accelerate the uptake of solar electricity generation on farms.

NZGIF provided a $10 million credit facility to Rural Energy to finance ‘solar as a service’ power purchase agreements for dairy farms in New Zealand.

The company has completed nearly 200 installations in the Waikato region to date, making it one of the largest specialist agri solar providers in NZ.

Rural Energy helps reduce the carbon footprint of the dairy farm industry by providing distributed solar energy for use on farms with no upfront cash commitment. As both a solar installer and energy retailer, it offers a ‘one stop shop solution’ to switching to renewable electricity generation, removing barriers for farmers and enabling them to reduce their electricity costs.

“NZGIF’s $10 million credit facility is projected to finance approximately 300 solar installations over the course of three years,” said NZGIF Chief Investment Officer Jason Patrick.

“We are pleased to offer a financing solution that is enabling Rural Energy to accelerate growth and roll out solar to more dairy farms, faster,” he said.

Rural Energy Chief Executive Officer Shaheer Azizi says, “Rural Energy offers a complete solution for dairy farmers by supplying both solar and grid energy. We use data driven solutions to provide on-site renewable energy generation that is individually optimised for each dairy shed, saving farmers up to 30% in their electricity costs. By switching to solar, customers can reduce the carbon footprint of their farm and save money.”

“Energy usage on dairy farms has grown over the past 20 years due to use of automated equipment. It is now estimated that electricity contributes 15c to the cost of every kilogram of milk solids produced. Rural Energy’s solution is practical, has no upfront costs, and provides immediate savings to farmers,” he said.

Rural Energy is also planning to include a battery storage offering in the future. Batteries can provide resilience for customers in the case of electricity outages.

“NZGIF has proven experience as a partner for businesses looking to finance their decarbonisation initiatives – we can offer financing solutions that other banks may find challenging. We are pleased to support Rural Energy’s growth,” said Mr Patrick.

NZGIF has invested approximately $50 million into several companies, including Rural Energy, that are helping New Zealand farms to decarbonise. Currently, the agricultural and energy sectors account for almost 90 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. Options available for farms to reduce emissions have been limited, but that is starting to change due to increasing farmer demand for sustainability solutions. This video shows how Ruminant BioTech, Light Years, Coolsense, Rural Energy and Tnue are reducing on-farm emissions with investment from NZGIF.

About Rural Energy

Rural Energy is a Waikato-based solar-as-a-service provider offering solar for dairy farms. Rural Energy partners with farmers to build power resilience by harvesting energy from the sun – and then provides the energy to the farmer at up to 30% below grid rates. Currently, Rural Energy helps power nearly 200 farms across the Waikato region. To find out more, visit


NZGIF is a Crown-owned green investment bank established to facilitate and accelerate investment that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand. With $700 million of investment capital, it is now one of the largest direct investors for climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand. NZGIF is not a registered bank.