Solar Trial Makes Greenspace Greener

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2010 03:33 PM
1 December 2010
Eco-friendly meeting venue, The Greenspace in Hamilton, has been chosen by WEL Networks as one of two sites participating in a trial funded by WEL Energy Trust to test the feasibility of distributed generation using small-scale solar technology.
A 1.2kW photovoltaic system was installed by WEL Networks at The Greenspace and co-owner, Annie Perkins, says solar power will enhance her company’s commitment to sustainability.
“We’ve put a lot of investment into an eco-retrofit of our building and surrounding grounds. But, when we started our project five years ago, this solar technology wasn’t available.
“For us, working with WEL on this trial is a great opportunity to enhance what we’re already doing in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability,” explains Annie.
Annie said her hope was that technologies like this would one day be available and used on a wide scale basis. She would like to see people being incentivised and assisted by Government to install energy efficient technologies.
The photovoltaic system being trialled by WEL Networks is a form of distributed generation, or generation of energy close to the point of use. Any excess power generated and not used by Greenspace, can be sold to its electricity retailer.
WEL Networks CEO, Dr Julian Elder, said “As demand for electricity throughout our network grows, WEL is looking at innovative ways to manage and reinforce our network to improve capacity and reliability.
“As we discover and implement alternative technologies, such as solar distributed generation, this will help us manage the electricity within our network more efficiently.
“If the innovations we’re trialling prove to provide the advantages we suspect they can, rolling them out to the mass market could also help save customers money on their power bills while providing environmental benefits.”
WEL Networks is also installing a photovoltaic system on the Community House in Raglan this week.
The WEL Networks trial follows on from installation of a photovoltaic system on the company’s corporate headquarters in Te Rapa, Hamilton. This system was installed in August 2010 and has generated 393 kWh of electricity since its install and averages 4.3 kWh per day.
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