by Divina Paredes

Vector and Watercare to build NZ’s first floating solar array

Sep 03, 2019
CEOCloud ComputingDigital Transformation

Credit: Watercare

Innovative solutions like this on top of wastewater ponds are a smart way to reduce operational costs Watercare CEO Raveen Jaduram

The system, delivered by Vector PowerSmart, marks a number of firsts for New Zealand, according to Vector Group CEO Simon Mackenzie and Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram.

“It’s the first time floating solar will be seen in New Zealand and the first megawatt-scale solar project to be confirmed,” says Mackenzie.

“It can generate enough power over a year to run the equivalent of 200 average New Zealand homes for a year.”

“Vector PowerSmart’s capability to design and deliver this innovative system shows how new energy solutions are key to helping business reach their economic and environmental goals, and we’re proud to be working with Watercare to help it achieve both,” states Mackenzie.

Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram says the project is an example of how utilities can work together for the benefit of their communities.

“As a large user of energy, it’s important that we look at ways of reducing our environmental footprint and becoming more self-sufficient. Innovative solutions like this on top of wastewater ponds are a smart way to reduce operational costs.

The solar array will be built in Auckland’s North Shore, on top of the Rosedale wastewater treatment pond near the Northern Motorway.

The array will be used to supplement electricity from the grid as well as co-generation from biogas, which is already generated on-site from wastewater treatment.

The electricity is used for pumping and aeration for natural bacteria that help break down the waste as part of the treatment process.

The programme is linked to Watercare’s aim to reduce its energy use by 8GWh by 2022 and to achieve energy self-sufficiency at its Mangere and Rosedale wastewater treatment plants by 2025.

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