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Beauty and the battery

Published: 16 March 2018
Erin Forsyth and Minister Megan Woods

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New art work by Erin Forsyth covers solar battery system in Wynyard Quarter

A captivating public artwork was officially unveiled in Wynyard Quarter on 16 March by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. The artwork is a painting by Erin Forsyth that wraps around the battery system that is powering Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Vector Lights launched with a light show on 27 January 2018, and its battery – which stores solar energy captured by 200 solar panels – has been operational since then.

Approximately the size of a shipping container, the painting bringing this permanent installation to life draws on Forsyth’s interest in environmental conservation, which aligns with the Vector Lights ‘clean energy’ vision.

“To tell the story of clean energy I wanted to explore the interconnectedness of mankind and the natural world using scale and composition to blur the distinction between land and sea, fact and fiction,” she says.

New public artwork tells story of clean energy 3
Artist Erin Forsyth and her Wynyard Quarter artwork for the Vector Lights battery

Minister Megan Woods cut the ribbon of the battery enclosure, saying the project points the way to a renewable energy future.

“This is all about what New Zealand’s energy future looks like. We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal, and that is to get to net zero emissions by 2050. We need to be looking at new solutions to old problems, and that’s what this is all about – it’s really exciting.”

Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge is a smart energy partnership between Vector and Auckland Council.

About the Vector Lights energy system:

  • 248 solar panels situated on top of restaurants at North Wharf in the Wynyard Quarter
  • A shipping container-sized Tesla Powerpack battery system in the Silo Park carpark (stores enough solar energy to power 400 homes for an hour)
  • Smart meters at the battery and the bridge, using peer-to-peer technology to regulate the release of energy from the battery to match use on the bridge
  • Check out the system’s energy use in real time with the Vector Lights energy dashboard

Upcoming Vector Lights events:

St Patrick’s Day: 17 March

Pasifika Festival: 22 – 28 March

Anzac Day/Poppy Day: from 20 April