Discovering innovation at the SEANZ Conference

 

We are members of the Sustainable Energy Association of New Zealand (SEANZ) and the annual conference is a solar fest where we get to see the latest and greatest in renewable energy developments.

SEANZ represents all those involved sustainable energy and solar from business to homeowners and industry.

It’s important for us to see the latest developments and meet with others in the industry so we can bring the best and most up-to-date systems and products to customers.  

There are some pretty amazing things happening out there with solar for both homeowners and large-scale businesses. It was fascinating to learn about these and get a glimpse of what’s evolving in renewable energy.

The SEANZ 2021 Awards were also announced and two of the winning projects caught my eye.

The first was the overall winner of the Best Large Business which was Vector Powersmart for its many and varied projects including launching the country’s first floating solar plant. This is a grid-tied, 1MW floating solar plant on 10,000m² of unusable real estate at the Auckland Rosedale wastewater treatment pond and it supplements Auckland Watercare’s electricity demand.

The second was a Central Otago orchard that aims to produce large quantities of food on 100% renewable energy. This cherry orchard has New Zealand’s first electric frost fighting fans and has cut its power bill to a fraction of what it used to be. It also runs several electric vehicles including the country’s first electric tractor. See detail about these winners

I got the opportunity to meet others in the industry and build networks including an organisation that provides solar panels to schools. We are now working together towards to provide more Wellington schools with solar panels.

This provider runs a programme that enables schools to get solar panels so that they can teach kids about solar and renewable energy, and at the same time harness their own energy.

It’s very educational for the children because they learn how the natural environment can produce energy, and they can monitor how much energy their school is harnessing in relation to weather conditions for example.

There are always new products coming on to the market, and I was excited to see a new home battery for the residential market. It’s a small scalable battery for homeowners which can make solar more affordable, and we are looking to bring this product to Wellington soon.   

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