Best Community Energy Project 2019

Recognises a community-based implementation in NZ and the Pacific Islands that most benefits the local community


Winner: SuperPower Technologies for Kaitaia College

Kaitaia College installed the largest school solar PV system in the country (101.2kW). The school is a low decile 2 located in a lower socioeconomic area in the Far North. At the time of installation the school had received close to a 50% increase in energy charges (not lines). Financially this was crippling, however SuperPower provided a lease to own solution where the cost of generating their own sustainable energy was 25% less than from the grid. SuperPower also negotiated through Trustpower better grid supplied energy rates than their encumbent and with their Solar Buddies program can now also share their excess solar production with the community when it makes sense i.e. weekend and school holidays, when the community is more likely to use the excess. SuperPower is now looking to implement its monitoring platform (Energytick) to monitor different part of the schools energy consumption and educate students and further look at ways to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint and take what they have learnt to spread back in on the community. 

Video link to some details on the school solution:

Solar panels on the roof of Kaitaia College buildings Solar panels on the roof of Kaitaia college buildings Aerial shot of solar panels on roof of Kaitaia College buildings

More about Superpower Technologies


Runner-up: Mercury for A Brighter Future for Kiwi project

Mercury supporting the Kiwi Hatchery, based at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua, with the donation of a $40,000 battery and solar power package.

The solar charged battery can provide 15 hours of back-up power for the hatchery’s kiwi egg incubators and other equipment.

The next stage of the solar power package will see solar panels installed on Rainbow Springs’ new entrance building, with this work finishing August 2019. 

The solar panels will provide all the building’s electricity needs and offset the cost of charging the battery.


Rainbow Springs Solar installation Two people laughing while chatting at the hatchery

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