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The system will support to Powerco to maintain its electricity supply to customers in the north Coromandel during peak consumption times. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

‘Virtual power plant’ for Coromandel properties

A “community-led solution” announced on Thursday will help keep the lights on across the Coromandel Peninsula.
SolarZero and Powerco have said they are working together to establish a system that will provide 1MW of distributed battery network support to the Coromandel.
The system is a “virtual power plant”, made up of a network of hundreds of smart energy storage and solar generation systems on homes across the region.
It will help Powerco maintain its electricity supply to customers in Pauanui, Tairua, Whitianga, Cooks Beach, Matarangi, Whangapoua, and Coromandel-Colville during peak consumption times.
Powerco general manager strategy and engineering Ryno Verster said Powerco put an industry-wide call out for proposed solutions to provide additional supply to its north Coromandel network, selecting solarZero from the tender process.
“Powerco is committed to decarbonising our network. By partnering with solarZero we’ve found an innovative way to support Aotearoa’s move to a sustainable future while bringing a low-cost option to maintain network reliability to our Coromandel customers,” he said.
“With growing numbers of people choosing to live in and visit the Coromandel region, the network is reaching capacity and sometimes needs additional support, particularly if network outages occur during busy holiday periods. We’re excited to see how solarZero’s solution will help keep the lights on for the community if these
events occur.”
Delivered by solarZero’s proprietary platform, the service delivers clean energy produced from rooftop solar panels. With on-device intelligence, it networks homes together as a virtual power plant.
“Innovative, people-powered initiatives like this support New Zealand’s transition to a zerocarbon economy,” CEO of solarZero Andrew Booth said. “We are proud to have been selected to work alongside Powerco to lead the way together towards 100 per cent clean energy for all.”
The partnership is scheduled to begin in 2023 and will run for an initial six-year term.