Best Environmental Impact 2022
Winner: Sunergy Solar for the installation of solar systems at Oaklands Milk/Raine Farm, Nelson
After enjoying the 50kW system that Sunergy Solar installed in June 2020, Oaklands Milk came back to Sunergy in mid 2021 to ask if we could power electric water heating. The client pasteurizes and bottles milk, so hot water is a substantial part of their operation. As part of their desire to decarbonise their business Oaklands were wanting to retire their existing gas califonts and boiler.
Given Sunergy’s experience in energy efficient systems we took on the role of project manager to source a suitable, high efficiency water heating system, and design and supply a solar system to power it.
By replacing the water heating system with an electric system, we have reduced CO2 emissions by 11 tonne per month. By powering the rest of the plant with solar as well, we are reducing CO2 emissions by a further 20 tonnes, so collectively this project is reducing CO2 emissions by over 150 tonnes per annum.
Sunergy Solar have a strong commitment to the environment, evidenced by our Toitū EnviroMark Gold certification. Our procurement policy considers the environmental commitment of our suppliers and impacts of their products and packaging and as a company we have a focus on waste minimisation.
Runner-up: solarZero for reduced carbon emissions
A key aim for solarZero is to address reduce carbon emissions. The reduction in carbon emissions through solar replacing thermal generation is well known. This award nomination highlights an important, but overlooked, part of emissions reduction - reducing peak electricity demand which is usually provided by thermal power plants and reducing the need for infrastructure, which is associated with carbon emissions.
As well as solar generation increasing the amount of renewable electricity we also reduce peak electricity demand via discharging batteries and controlling hotwater during peak demand. That peak is normally met with thermal peaking plant. Therefore, reducing peak demand increases carbon savings over and above the savings from solar alone. We estimate that we increase carbon savings by some 60% over solar alone. Further, our systems provide power system stability services that will enable higher proportions of renewable energy generation.
In conclusion intelligent batteries and smart control result in significantly increased carbon savings as compared to solar generation by itself.