Vector to install New Zealand's 1st floating solar park

Solar module. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

September 3 (Renewables Now) - Vector PowerSmart, part of electricity and gas distributor Vector Ltd (NZE:VCT) will build a megawatt-scale floating solar farm in New Zealand for local water utility Watercare.

The project will represent the first floating solar array in New Zealand and also the first local megawatt-scale solar project to be confirmed. It will be floated on top of the Rosedale wastewater treatment pond n Auckland and will consist of more than 2,700 solar panels and 3,000 floating pontoons.

According to Vector, the new project will be more than twice the size of the country’s current largest solar array. Its output will supplement power from the grid as well as cogeneration from biogas at the site, which in turn uses the generated electricity for pumping and aeration for natural bacteria that help break down the waste under the treatment process, the firm explained.

The water utility aims to cut its energy use by 8 GWh by 2022 and see its Mangere and Rosedale wastewater treatment plants become energy self-sufficient by 2025.

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