Vector Powersmart delivers New Zealand’s largest Solar Array

Congrats to the Vector Powersmart teams on completing New Zealand’s largest solar project - the build of a 1MW floating solar installation on top of Watercare’s Rosedale wastewater treatment pond.

The first 1MW system in New Zealand is a significant milestone and SEANZ congrats Rogier and the Vector Powersmart team. 

Media Release from Vector Powersmart

The landmark system contains more than 2700 solar panels and 3000 floating pontoons and is visible from the adjacent Northern Motorway on Auckland’s North Shore.

General Manager Vector Powersmart Rogier Simons said the completion marked an important milestone for solar in New Zealand.

“This is a hugely significant day for the evolution of the solar market in New Zealand with the first megawatt-scale system now built,” Mr Simons said.

“Larger solar installations like this are commonplace overseas and it’s exciting to see that sort of scale delivered here in New Zealand. Given the drive to decarbonise and use cleaner forms of energy, this project is a milestone for New Zealand.

It also demonstrates that solar solutions can be found even in challenging environments like wastewater treatment ponds and it’s a great use of marginal land by Watercare.

“I’m proud of the Vector Powersmart team for delivering this innovative project that will help our customer, Watercare, achieve its financial and sustainability goals”.

The array will be used to supplement electricity from the grid as well as cogeneration from biogas, which is already generated on-site from wastewater treatment. The floating solar will provide about 25% of the total energy needed at the plant.

The electricity is used for pumping and aeration for natural bacteria that help break down the waste as part of the treatment process.

Highlights of New Zealand’s first floating solar project:

  • First floating solar installation in New Zealand
  • First megawatt-scale solar system delivered in New Zealand, each year generating enough electricity to power 200 average NZ homes for a year
  • More than 2700 solar panels and 3000 floating pontoons
  • Reduction of 145 tonnes of CO2e each year – equivalent to the emissions from driving 66 cars in NZ. media release 20 August 2020 creating a new energy future

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