Solar power is slowing gaining momentum within New Zealand, with one of the biggest solar panel installations being switched on during January 2015 at the Sylvia Park Shopping Centre. The 1100 solar panels, covering the total area size of almost 12 tennis courts, are used to assist in powering this New Zealand shopping mall.
Solar power production is a relatively simple process, whereby sun rays hit and penetrate the solar cells located inside the panels which then converts into electricity.
Roughly 20% of the mall is powered by this new installation, which is actually one of the biggest of its kind installed in the country to date.
New Zealand continues to develop solar industry
The decision to increase solar power is most likely due to the fact that electricity tariffs keep increasing while the costs associated with the manufacture and installation of solar panels continue to drop. The long term financial incentives alone mean the to switch to the renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular.
As peak demand is in the summer months, it allows for the solar cells to maximise their energy output, which works hand in hand with the malls’ air conditioning shifts.
The recent commercial installation is expected to pay for itself within seven years and also underpins the mall’s eleven year sustainability program.
Solar installation to power free electric car chargers for shopper’s vehicles
Another added bonus of the solar power installation is the fact that this clean electricity assists in powering Sylvia Park’s free electric car chargers, which are the very first to be installed within a New Zealand shopping mall. It is estimated that three hours spent at the mall while charging the car at the same time may provide up to 70% power.
Many electric car enthusiasts are hoping New Zealand follows in many European countries footsteps whereby it’s common to have electric charging stations found in public places.
This is just the tip of the iceberg concerning solar power options within New Zealand. Many believe there are other places such as libraries and townships that are more than happy to provide infrastructures to be used for charging.
Photo by RS PI