9 October 2014
New Zealand’s biggest ever commercial solar energy installation (924 panels) on the Tarewa Mega Centre in Whangarei is now live. The owners of the Tarewa Mega Centre, Udy Group, see the installation as a long-term investment in an area which experiences higher energy costs per kWh than other parts of the country. “For us, this is more than just saving money, it is about us reducing our impact on the planet. We are aware of the need to create a sustainable business, for the company and also our tenants, with the first step being power generation,” says Dan Udy, a director of Udy Group. Tarewa’s air-conditioning system and common areas currently use 326,542 kWh per year. Power generated by the 240kW grid-connected solar electricity system will offset most of the air-conditioners’ operating costs, massively reducing Tarewa Mega Centre’s carbon footprint and locking in energy savings for at least the next 25 years. The Tarewa Mega Centre is home to leading retail brands including 100% Electrical, Spotlight, Number One Shoes, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pumpkin Patch, Lighting Direct, Reduced to Clear, Supercheap Auto, The Cheesecake Shop and The Baby Factory. Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai says she is delighted Whangarei is now home to the country’s biggest commercial solar energy installation.
At 240 kW the solar electricity system at Tarewa Mega Centre in Whangarei is currently New Zealand's largest solar PV system. The installation involved some ground breaking new innovations which enabled the job to be installed 10 days ahead of schedule and with minimal interferance to the malls day to day operation.