City of the sun

Element - - Snapshot -

Christchurch is forg­ing ahead down the path of be­com­ing an eco city with the an­nounce­ment of a sub­di­vi­sion of some 2200 homes fit­ted with so­lar tech­nolo­gies. It will not be en­tirely off-grid, as the power gen­er­ated from photo voltaic (PV) pan­els will sup­ply ap­prox­i­mately a quar­ter of the av­er­age home’s power. How­ever hot water so­lar pan­els will also be fit­ted, which should fur­ther de­crease en­ergy use. Any en­ergy pro­duced that is not used by the home own­ers, for ex­am­ple when they are away, will be sold to Merid­ian En­ergy, which is part of the deal along with Pana­sonic and Nel­son-based so­lar power com­pany So­larcity, which will in­stall the sys­tems. The cost of PV pan­els has dropped 40 per cent in the past year and is at­tract­ing a lot of at­ten­tion as a fi­nan­cially vi­able source of power. The pan­els last ap­prox­i­mately 30 years. Each house would be fit­ted with four or more pan­els, ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing a kilo­watt. So­larcity went through a pri­vate eq­uity fi­nanc­ing round last year, led by Sir Stephen Tin­dall’s in­vest­ment fun K1W1. The com­pany raised 2 mil­lion. This con­tract could see the busi­ness dou­ble in size.

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