Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Largest solar farm in NZ to be built in Palmerston North

Largest solar farm in New Zealand to be built in Palmerston North

A 100 kilowatt solar PV farm will be installed on the rooftop of Palmerston North City Council’s Central Administration Building and the city’s Convention Centre.

Powersmart NZ Ltd of Tauranga won a competitive tender to build the solar farm – which will be the largest in the country.

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor says Palmerston North is committed to being a sustainable city and he’s pleased to see this project come a step closer to fruition.

“Last year we converted the Council’s main office building to solar heated hot water and we installed solar energy panels on the roof of Council’s depot at Manawaroa Street. These projects alongside many others including an LED street light trial and free tertiary student bus travel demonstrate Palmerston North’s commitment to creating a sustainable future.”

Energy officer John Debney says that the $215,350 project involves installing 400 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the Central Administration Building (CAB) and the Convention Centre. The solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. As the sunlight hits the silicon cells in the panels, an electric current is generated. The electricity generated by the solar panels is a direct current (DC) voltage and each panel has a positive and negative lead. The panels are all wired together and connected to an inverter which turns the electricity into alternating current (AC) which we use in the building.

John Debney says the solar farm will go some way towards meeting the Council’s electricity needs and most of the electricity will be used on site, to reduce the amount of electricity imported into the building from the supply grid. The CAB building uses approximately 1,100,000kWh of electricity per year. The solar farm will reduce this by about 10%. Last year the electricity costs at the CAB building were $173,000.

The modelling by Powersmart shows the farm will generate approximately 118,000kWh per year. There should also be a reduction in electricity demand charges as Council will be using less electricity from the network during times of peak demand. However, he says, we won’t know the total savings until this time next year because the demand charges for electricity stay on the bill for one year.

John Debney says the solar farm project is very exciting. “We’re fairly confident of how successful it will be given our experience with the solar electricity system at Council’s Esplanade Depot at Manawaroa St.”

That site has used 4,550kWh from the grid since March this year, and in that time exported 3,270kWh back to the grid. This represents about 72% of the electricity imported to site being sent back to the grid. During the day the complex is using electricity generated on site by the solar panels resulting in further savings. “That project was designed to be able to generate as much electricity as it uses and we appear to have achieved this goal.”

Construction will begin in mid February and is expected to take about three weeks to complete.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>


Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>


Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>


Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>


With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>


Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>


Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news