New Zealand?s Largest Photovoltaic Solar Energy Plant Opens

The New Zealand countryside is some of the greenest in the world. Due to the high levels of rain, especially on the South Island, the natural environment throughout the country is breathtaking in its lushness and one of its major selling points to overseas travellers.

Offering to preserve the stunning natural New Zealand habit by making it just a little ‘greener’ is the country’s largest ever solar power plant.

Engineering company South Auckland Forging Engineering (SAFE), who operate a number of different engineering facilities including a heat treatment facility and metallurgical laboratory, own the recently completed plant located in Drury.

The solar farm has been developed by Ramarama company What Power Crisis as a way of offsetting the high carbon emitting nature of the SAFE’s engineering developments. In total, the 68-kilowatt solar farm is expected to meet a whopping 70 per cent of the company’s power needs, as well as the electricity needs of 12 houses, through the renewable energy gained from the photovoltaic panels. There are additional plans to sell back any power surplus.

The latest initiative is well in line with the New Zealand government’s carbon reduction target, which would see 90 per cent of the country’s electricity generated by renewable means by 2025.

According to Hunua MP Dr. Paul Hutchison, the country is already moving in leaps and bounds toward its clean energy goals, climbing from a 65 per cent reliance on renewable energy technologies for the country’s electricity use in 2008 to a 79 per cent reliance on those technologies today.

Hutchison has reaffirmed the country’s excitement at opening its largest solar farm, and is strongly pushing the economical advantages that an increased reliance on sustainable energy forms will have for individuals and the country at large.

“Solar energy is becoming increasingly cost effective as the cost of photovoltaic technology is reducing,” he says. “There are huge opportunities for New Zealand to gain expertise in this area and ‘What Power Crisis’ are to be congratulated for their leadership and the building of our largest solar array plant so far.”

So far, New Zealand’s renewable energy commitment has really gone under the radar on a global level. This will likely not be the case for much longer as they continue to show their green commitment and innovation. With such a strong commitment to sustainable energy the country is setting itself up in good stead for impending carbon taxes and for a highly sustainable future.

If – or perhaps when – the world’s natural resources run out, New Zealand will be laughing all the way to the bank.