Genesis Energy "has signalled its intent" to invest heavily in solar power development.
Three days after being at the centre of a storm over rolling blackouts after a grid emergency, Genesis announced it was "in active discussions with international solar developers to finalise a joint venture arrangement" which it said could deliver up to 500 megawatts of solar capacity over the next five year.
The company, 51 per cent owned by the Government, said the capacity would be enough to generate 750 gigawatt hours, enough to power 100,000 homes or 185,000 electric vehicles a year.
Most of the stations would be in the North Island near existing transmission connection points, the company said.
Genesis said its "future-gen" strategy aimed to displace baseload thermal generation with 2,650GWh a year of renewable generation by 2030.
Chief executive Marc England said a request for proposal process attracted interest from local and international developers.
"We have kept our options open to a variety of technologies and partners to provide diversity to our generation portfolio, which consists of hydro, wind, geothermal and thermal," England said.
"Solar makes sense on a number of levels and we believe there is an economic opportunity to develop utility-scale solar projects in New Zealand," England said, adding that the company would "take advantage of key learnings" from interest in solar in Australia.
Separately, but also as part of its pitch to remove thermal generation, Genesis announced it would buy around 41 per cent of the electricity capacity from Tauhara, a 152-megawatt geothermal power station being developed by Contact Energy.
Tauhara is expected to be completed in mid-2023.
"These sort of long-term commitments, backed by the lowest-cost projects, are good for New Zealand as they keep electricity prices as low as possible and encourage the development of new renewable generation," Contact chief executive Mike Fuge said.
Financial terms of the deal are not being released, the companies said in a statement to the NZX.