New Zealand’s solar plus storage market is set to get another kick start, with the announcement of a new initiative offering more than 100 free solar and battery storage systems to select NZ consumers, community groups and schools.
The initiative, launched on Monday by NZ network operator Vector, offers free use of 3kW Vector Solar panels plus a Tesla Powerwall home battery system for 100 individuals, households and community groups, with another 30 systems on offer for state and state-integrated schools.
Potential candidates for the Future of Energy campaign are to be nominated via a dedicated website – www.vectorfutureofenergy.co.nz – with votes to be directed to those most deserving of the benefits of free solar plus storage.
For the first 10 years, Vector will retain ownership of the systems. After 10 years, ownership will pass to each winner.
As we have reported on our sister site, RenewEconomy, Vector signed a partnership with US tech upstart Tesla, in May, to bring its much-celebrated Powerwall battery storage offering to its home market, and has been considering a push into Australia.
It seems that this initiative will allow it to gauge the performance of the Tesla Powerwall and how it fits into its network strategy.
Vector CEO Simon McKenzie has a proven track record as one of the most progressive thinkers in the utility space and as a pioneer of a leasing system for solar and storage – a technology combination he has described as a game-changer.
“Vector is committed to bringing New Zealanders the future of energy,” he said in a statement on Monday. “From smart home systems to electric vehicle charging, we create and source the world’s best technology to help Kiwi families and businesses live and work smarter.
“Now we’ve launched our exciting Future of Energy initiative to reward deserving organisations, individuals, families and state and state integrated schools within the AECT area who are doing their bit to energise their local communities.
“Each winner will receive a world-leading system, incorporating 3kW Vector Solar panels installed on their roof, plus a Tesla Powerwall home battery, free for them to use for 10 years. This means they will enjoy thousands of hours of free power over the next 10 years.
McKenzie says the scheme will also help Vector to gauge the advantages of the Tesla batteries for both individual users and for the network as a whole.
“This research will be invaluable as we develop our battery and energy solutions going forward,” he said.
The scheme has the backing of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust via a fund historically used for undergrounding projects, and recently extended to include new technology such as solar and batteries.
Future of Energy is open to those living within the AECT district, which covers Auckland, Manukau and the northern parts of Papakura (the old Auckland Electric Power Board area).
The competition’s 130 winners are to be announced in November.