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Virtual Home First Renewable Energy Showcase

Virtual Home NZ’s First Renewable Energy Management Showcase

A step towards one of New Zealand’s first sustainable urban development was realised today with the launch of the Hobsonville Point Information Centre, Catalina Café and Community Space.

In partnership with the Hobsonville Land Company (HLC), Vector is showcasing an integration of renewable technology and ultra-fast fibre network with a café and home of the future as a focal point. It is an initiative welcomed by HLC Chief Executive Sean Bignell.

He believes sustainable initiatives such as these are very important at Hobsonville Point, which will eventually have a community of around 10,000 people living and working on site.

“Hobsonville Point will be a unique community that offers accessible urban living where residents can live, learn, work and play. It is being developed with the future firmly in mind which is evident in the new Catalina Café and information centre,” says Mr Bignell.

Vector Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie says that sitting within the café is a virtual home and model of the entire Hobsonville Point development, demonstrating Vector’s commitment to exploring renewable energy and fibre technology, whilst providing these in conjunction with electricity and gas solutions. He is pleased Aucklanders can now experience it first hand.

“We are delivering integrated network solutions by leveraging our expertise in multiutility networks such as, electricity, gas, fibre and technology solutions such as smart meters,” says Mr Mackenzie.

The precinct features smart metering for monitoring and managing energy use, solar cell panels which can generate enough electricity to be put back into the grid, a solar hot water system, heat pump hot water system and energy efficient LED lighting. LPG is utilised by Catalina Café for cooking.

A fibre-driven touch screen display tagged the ‘centre of the home’ allows control of home energy management, entertainment and communication, including skype, email and internet browsing.

WorldxChange Communication, a leader in next generation IP Voice, data and unified communications, will be delivering a full suite of telecommunications services over the fibre connecting HLC to the world.

“Electrical energy usage information from the smart meter, along with solar electricity generation information, is displayed using graphs accessed from Vector data centres over the fibre network. Fibre to the door networks and renewable energy technologies can enable innovation in a way that enhances our lives,” says Mr Mackenzie.

Many of the technologies demonstrated will be replicated in the 3000 homes planned for the Hobsonville Point Development, a Government-backed community which is likely to become the template for future greenfields developments. The first homes will be complete next April.

“Our solution for Hobsonville Point is a model that can be repeated and refined in other communities. Our fibre platform enables retailers to offer a variety of products and services,” says Mr Mackenzie.


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