Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Hawke’s Bay Airport Solar Farm Technical Experts Confirmed

Leading renewable energy provider Vector Powersmart has been confirmed as the technical partner for the next stage Hawke’s Bay Airport’s ambitious 10MW commercial solar farm project.

Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited chief executive Stuart Ainslie today announced the next stage of the project, a feasibility plan, and technical design which would see unused land at the airport becoming New Zealand’s largest solar farm capable of powering the equivalent of more than 2000 houses.

Vector Powersmart general manager Rogier Simons said early indications suggest the ten-hectare site is well suited to a high performing, commercial renewable energy farm that could provide new revenue streams for the airport company as well as supporting its desire to become New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral airport.

“The airport land and the sunny environment it sits within has significant potential. The land itself is largely undeveloped due to height restrictions and being flat offers advantages for installation.

“We’re proud to be involved in another landmark solar project as the market continues to mature in New Zealand.”

Last week Vector Powersmart completed New Zealand’s largest solar project, the build of a 1MW floating solar installation on Watercare’s Rosedale wastewater treatment pond in Auckland. The Hawkes Bay Airport solar farm project would be ten times that size at 10MW.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Hawke’s Bay Airport and its joint venture partner electricity lines provider Centralines Limited. Collectively we’ve got an airport committed to creating a new revenue stream and minimising its environmental impact, a well-respected local lines provider and our experience of designing and constructing solar farms,” Mr Simons said.

Hawke’s Bay Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie said selecting Vector Powersmart as its preferred technical partner was a significant milestone as the airport looks to become the first airport in New Zealand to be powered by solar energy as well as creating new revenue streams, following the financial turbulence created by COVID-19.

Mr Ainslie said the renewable energy project ticks many boxes for the airport company, which recently committed to a vision of becoming New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral airport.

“We are set to open New Zealand’s newest domestic airport early next year and we can see a future in greater use of renewable energy on both sides of the terminal through the electrification of vehicles.

“Vector Powersmart has vast experience and expertise in the feasibility, design and construction of utility-scale and commercial solar projects in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. They will provide us with the direction to realising the potential of underutilised land at the airport.

“Before COVID-19, we were forecasting one million passengers a year by 2025, but we have now pushed this target out to 2030, this will have a financial impact. Therefore, we need to continue to be innovative in our approach to operating a strategic regional asset.

Mr Ainslie added that the project would not only generate sufficient electricity to meet the airport’s requirements, but it will also supply surplus energy to others looking for a 100 percent renewable supply noting that the airport has already had some encouraging discussions with potential regional partners.

“We anticipate some significant innovations in the aviation industry post COVID-19 which could result in demand for electricity growing rapidly.

“This is already starting to happen on the landside of our business with electric and hybrid vehicles and if airlines pursue hybrid technology for short-haul routes, then this could grow exponentially.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>