Powering up sustainability


EA Networks has embraced renewable energy, installing a 75kW solar array on the rooftops of its offices in the Ashburton Business Estate. The array spans two buildings and includes more than 140 panels. It was designed and installed by local electricians ElectraServe who completed the project in March.

By harnessing solar energy, the company aims to reduce its carbon footprint and lower its direct energy costs over the long term by generating its own energy, effectively making hay while the sun shines. “We are really pleased to be able to generate some of our own energy needs locally and reduce both our energy costs and network capacity during summer” said Onno Mulder, EA Networks Chief Executive.

The initiative aligns with the companies values and demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and increased renewable energy. “As an electricity distribution company, we recognise the role we play in shaping a sustainable energy future, said Mr Mulder. 

Whilst the installation is relatively small it enables EA Networks to learn more about the technology providing an opportunity to work with and support others in the community who might be considering solar options.

James Reid of ElectraServe, who led the build project, highlighted the economic benefits of solar energy. “There is a good business case for commercial and industrial customers to use solar to reduce their retail energy costs since a lot of their demand for electricity is during the daytime” said Mr Reid. 

The installation will produce up to 70kW of energy during summer when the local electricity network sees peak demand. This is the equivalent of powering about 30 residential homes. The company has no plans to utilise battery storage at this stage. “There is no need for battery storage in this system since all the generation can be used immediately to power heating and lighting across the business. Every system is different, and it pays to speak to experienced designers early to get this right” said Mr Reid.

“We encourage other businesses to reach out to their local electrician to see what opportunities there are for them” said Mr Mulder.

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