Pacific Energy Solutions - Ergo Consulting / Watercare Services Ltd 2017 Case Study

Pacific Energy Solutions was engaged by Ergo Engineering Consultants to provide specialist engineering services for a number of renewable energy feasibility studies for Watercare Services Ltd. Watercare’s mission is to provide reliable, safe and efficient water and wastewater services. To help deliver this mission, Watercare implemented a new Energy Policy in 2016 aiming to become a leader in energy efficiency and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Watercare embarked on several initiatives to reduce its energy consumption and associated operating costs and to minimise the environmental impacts of its business activities. One of these initiatives was to explore the benefits of solar PV electricity generation and battery storage.

Pacific Energy Solutions Ltd led the high-level design and analysis of several potential systems across the Auckland region. This included:

  • Siting of large photovoltaic arrays (up to 2MW) and associated high-level design for connection back into the plant and the grid
  • Analysis of time of use readings to create detailed load profiles for each site
  • Detailed modelling and optimisation of each system based on load and generation profiles to achieve the best economic return (Nett Present Value after 25 years, IRR etc.). This modelling considered seasonal variations in both consumption and expected generation
  • An investigation into the potential for battery storage, development of a number of storage scenarios based on different criteria (e.g. maximum size based on PV output, sized for maximum self-consumption etc)

Systems were ranked based on the $/Watt system cost that provided a positive NPV after 25 years. From approximately 30 different scenarios, 4 systems were presented in a business case to the board for approval to go to market. An RFP was put together and the procurement process was initiated.

Pacific Energy Solutions’ analysis provided commercial rigour around the specification of system parameters including array size and orientation. “More” is not always better and our analysis ensured the “sweet spot” was found between system configuration and economic return.

We were able to provide the board with visibility around the business case enabling them to make a considered decision.

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