New Zealand utilities Vector Ltd and Watercare last week announced plans for the construction of the country’s first floating solar plant -- a megawatt-scale system in Auckland.
The photovoltaic (PV) array will be installed atop the Rosedale wastewater treatment pond on Auckland’s North Shore, consisting of over 2,700 solar panels and 3,000 floating pontoons, which will make it the country’s largest solar project. Watercare will provide the needed financing and host the plant, while the scheme will be delivered by Vector PowerSmart.
While no capacity of the project has been given, Vector and Watercare estimate that once completed, the plant will be able to generate electricity for 200 average homes in New Zealand and save 145 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually. The output will be used to supply electricity to the wastewater treatment plant, supplementing power from the grid as well as cogeneration from an onsite biogas facility.
“Innovative solutions like this on top of wastewater ponds are a smart way to reduce operational costs,” said Watercare’s CEO Raveen Jaduram.
Watercare said it aims to lower its energy consumption by 8 GWh by 2022 and achieve energy self-sufficiency at Mangere and Rosedale wastewater treatment plants by 2025.
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