Environment Canterbury offices in Tuam St with the newly installed solar panels

Power from the sun is tapped

by Mike Isle

Environment Canterbury has installed solar panels on the roof of its Tuam Street office as part of a commitment to improving its overall environmental impact.

The 34kW voltaic array of 114 panels were craned into place by CPS Solar, over the north, west and east rooflines.

Asset services manager, Bronwyn Simmonds, says a significant amount of time and capital ”is going into our commitment to reducing our environmental impact.

“We have deliberately chosen to start with a 34kW array for Tuam Street, which should reduce our annual electricity expenditure by approximately $6,500+GST. We will add to it as both the efficiency of panels increases and their price reduces, and also commit to battery storage at the appropriate time. The project has involved a team of people, including external firms CPS Solar, Enercon and Setpoint Solutions, together with internal staff.

“This follows a considerable decrease in energy consumption for our Tuam Street office, which has trended downwards as a result of staff behaviour and ongoing commissioning of our plant. Savings over the past year have been in the vicinity of 18 per cent, which has been a great result,” Ms Simmonds says.

“We are currently getting a NABERSNZ rating to benchmark the energy efficiency for Tuam Street, and other initiatives will flow on from this in 2019 in our quest for constant improvement.”