SEANZ Energy Award Winners Announced


An off-grid solar and battery installation to support a remote endangered bird hatchery and a factory which replaced 415,000 litres of diesel with 3,608 solar panels are just some of the highlights of the Sustainable Electricity Association’s (SEANZ) annual awards for 2017.

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Record year ahead for solar

panels_from_overhead.jpgBy Joshua Riddiford - Energy News. 

New Zealand is on track for a record number of solar installs by the end of this year, Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand chair Brendan Winitana says.

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New Energy Showcase and Training Day

seanz-fb-tile_training-day2.jpgSEANZ presents the Technology Showcase - A day of workshops featuring the latest in solar, storage, EV, and home energy management technology and our industry expo with leading manufacturers and suppliers bringing you the latest products. SEANZ will also be presenting the latest standards updates with a focus on the latest for battery storage.

This is a free day for all of the industry. Lunch and refreshments supplied - RSVP essential - see below.

This is the first of three days of the SEANZ 2017 Generating Connections Conference. Register for the full event here

What's On?

  • EV’s are set to sweep across the New Zealand landscape and solar installers have a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of this exciting change. YHI Senior Sales Engineer Aaron Gillon presents.
  • YHI Solar Product Manager Brian Crum speaks about technology developments aimed at increasing efficiency in PV systems plus STORAGE! - the when, the why and the how of battery use in grid-connected solar system’s and how to maximise your customer's solar generation, as well as commercial Hybrid applications and retrofitting storage to an existing system.
  • The way we consume and generate energy is changing and the solar industry needs to look at both hardware and software as a combined value proposition for homes and businesses. Learn about the Enphase Home Energy Solution which seamlessly integrates generation and storage, offering the simplest and most effective solution for your customers. Get an introduction to the next generation Enphase IQ™ Microinverter System which makes installations simpler and faster. Find out how easy it is to get started with Enphase with some nifty install tricks.
  • PowerGenius Founder Ben Stanton and Sales Director Simon Dickson on the technical aspects and capabilities of PowerGenius alongside the customer benefits and how you can leverage both as a point of difference to generate more connections for your business. The functionality and capability of PowerGenius; what and how it monitors, controls and reports energy utilisation within the home. An installation overview, including hardware installation and enabling the technology through software setup. We will also take a look at the future of PowerGenius technology.
  • PowerGenius sales as a service. The customer value proposition; how the customer will benefit from the installation of PowerGenius i.e. the value you will add to their solar investment. As well as covering the best way to utilise PowerGenius as a point of difference for your business to acquire new customers and reconnect with existing customers. He will also take a look at the PowerGenius installer support and customer service model.

Our Industry Expo will have permanent stands featuring the latest from the PV, Storage, EV-charging, and home energy management world brought to you by:

  • YHI
  • Taspac
  • Power Genius
  • Selectronic
  • Independent Power
  • Century Yuasa
  • SolarCity
  • Tesla
  • Fronius

SEANZ welcomes new Government announcements

SEANZ looks forward to working with the new Labour-led Government and new Minister of Energy & Resources Megan Woods. 

megan_woods.jpegClimate Change and Energy appear to have been elevated in the caucus, a move welcomed by SEANZ.

The announcement of a “full-scale review” of retail power pricing could bring welcome outcomes and we will be watching with interest. SEANZ has long advocated that businesses and households with Solar PV need better pricing signals for grid-supplied power to shift their loads from peak times to during the day when the sun is shining. Load shifting using Solar PV and battery storage or EV batteries will ensure network operators are getting the right feedback about requirements for the future network and ensure they make investment decisions which will benefit consumers and the country as a whole. 

As part of the coalition agreement with the Green Party, a Climate Commission will be established and tasked with preparing a plan for the electricity sector to be 100 percent renewable by 2035 (in a year of normal hydrology). SEANZ believes solar pv, battery storage and related tech have a strong role to play in making this goal a reality. 

The announcement that has possibly captured the most public interest is the Green Party policy to investigate putting Solar PV on all schools. Schools are the perfect place to install solar because they consume all of their energy during the day and can, therefore, maximise the financial benefits. 

A solar system installed on a school in New Zealand would be paid back within 7 years after which time the savings made on the electricity bill could be diverted into better learning opportunities for students so SEANZ is urging the Government to think big. 

As a case study, Pegasus Bay School (New Zealand's first net-zero energy school) produces as much energy as it consumes. Pegasus Bay has an 86 kWp system predicted to save the school $28,000/year which based on today's pricing would have the system paying for itself in ~7 years. Another example is Peria School in Northland with an expected payback period of 4 years.

If every school in New Zealand were to install a 25 kwp system then the cost would be ~$150m and this is the scale that the government should be investigating.

Industry Perspectives: A view from New York

SEANZ Chair Brendan Winitana was recently invited to speak on a panel with Rory Christian, Director of New York Clean Energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the world’s largest environmental organisations, with more than two million members and a staff of 550 scientists, economists and policy experts; and Dr Stephen Batsone, Director Sapere Research Group.

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Can solar power provide a better return than investing in the share market?

​​​​​​​We have been talking about the positive return on investment for many homeowners for a while now, so much so we built an online tool to help you understand the savings and how to maximise your return, so it is always good when we hear other independent voices sharing the same message.

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solarcity adds a mobile app to award winning offering

SEANZ member solarcity have added an app to their solarzero offering for which they won last year’s SEANZ “Most innovative new initiative” award last year.

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Wellington Solar and Battery Trial

SEANZ member Skysolar has partnered with Contact Energy Wellington Electricity Lines, Wellington City Council in a trial to find solutions to increase community resilience in times of natural disaster.

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Solar Optimiser get 5-star rating

Our solar calculator, SEANZ Solar Optimiser, got a 5-star rating from My Solar Quotes. The website reviewed four solar calculators and found that our online tool was "impressive from the get-go" and beat all other reviewed calculators hands-down.

You can read the full review here.

You can use the SEANZ Solar Optimiser here.

NZ's first vehicle-to-grid charging system

News from Vector Limited - In yet another innovative first, Vector is introducing a two-way electric vehicle (EV) charger that will transform EVs into mobile power sources for businesses and homes. The news accompanies its confirmation of 4 new Auckland public EV charging locations over the next two months to cater to growing demand.

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