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New monitoring system makes energy generation visible

New monitoring system makes energy generation visible

Now the public can see just what the Palmerston North City Council owned solar farm is doing every hour, day, week or month through a page on the council’s web site.

Residents can see how much energy is generated by the 400 solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the Convention Centre and the council’s civic administration building.

Neil Miller, head of strategy and policy at the council says this fits with the council’s vision of a sustainable future.

“The council is leading New Zealand local government in the adoption of renewable energy initiatives. We strive to be a carbon zero organisation by 2050 and at present we are generating a third of our energy requirements from sustainable sources,” he said.

“The council is generating its energy needs from its very own renewable energy resources, including solar water heating systems at six council owned sites and the largest solar farm in New Zealand.”

The solar farm consists of 400 solar panels on the roof of both the Convention Centre and the council’s administration building, (CAB). The combined panels have the generating capacity of 100kW. The CAB uses approximately 1,100,000kW of electricity per year and is expected to generate approximately 10% of the electricity consumption for the building.

Peak demand for electricity often coincides with the greatest load on the air-conditioning systems. The CAB uses all the self-generated energy on site which offsets imported electricity. The Council is billed dependant on the maximum amount of electricity used at peak times.
This provides the opportunity to reduce demand charges by generating electricity during peak demand times and managing the consumption.
To find this monitor go to Your Council, click on Our Performance and scroll down to ‘Our Sustainability and Climate Change’.

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