Great Barrier Local Board’s solar power system has exceeded many expectations in the two months since it was launched.
The board adopted a solar-powered system for the council facilities at Claris in an important step towards cleaner, greener living.
Solar power is comfortably running the service centre, local board office and the dentist and will provide back-up power for the health centre.
The system cost just under $300,000 and was paid for by Auckland Council’s One Local Initiative fund.
The original aim for the system was to hit 80 per cent solar power to start with and then build up to 100 per cent from there.
Since the April 5 launch, the system has been running on 96 per cent solar energy.
The diesel generator has been providing back up where needed but has so far only been turned on four times.
The generator switches on when the battery drops to 60 per cent charge.
It is a transparent system set up to benefit the community and real time monitors are on display in the service centre.
Corporate property coordinator Paul Ivory said the project was completed on time and within budget. “It has demonstrated that you can run these things if you design them properly and install them properly.”
The system is also comfortably powering the morgue and charging the electric car and bike when there is good sun.
Great Barrier Local Board Chair Izzy Fordham said it was the board’s vision for Great Barrier to be a world leader in alternative renewable technology and to celebrate living off the grid.
“This system is an important step closer to that vision. It was vital to stop relying on fossil fuels to power our offices and surrounding buildings,” she said.