Using the sun that shines on Tairāwhiti, Te Ihi o te Rā will generate, on average, 7343 MWh of renewable energy each year — enough to power the equivalent of 1,000 typical homes.

Ngai Tāwhiri, who hold mana whenua over the area gifted the name Te Ihi o te Rā (the rays, the essence of the sun).

Te Ihi o te Rā has 8,000 solar panels built on 6.1 hectares of land at Gisborne Airport. It’s designed and consented to allow for the option of adding a battery energy storage system at a later stage.

Regional energy resilience

Te Ihi o te Rā marks an important and exciting early step towards a sustainable future for Tairāwhiti, and will contribute to both regional energy capacity and resilience.

It will also help Eastland Generation continue to develop in-region expertise and capability in solar farm infrastructure and technology.

As part of our plans to develop more embedded renewal generation on the East Coast, we’ve secured two further solar sites, in Tolaga Bay/Uawa and Wairoa.


“This is consistent with the enactment of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) by Ngai Tāwhiri as we strive to enhance the environmental outcomes of the rohe. From a cultural lens, I'm moved by the positive transformation occurring with our whenua and also our awa. The mauri of the wai is slowly but surely healing itself. This is an awesome collaboration.”

- Thelma Karaitiana, Ngai Tāwhiri Working Group