Solar in Wānaka

Let’s work together as one.
And keep the lights
on in Wānaka

Scroll down
Wānaka’s and the surrounding townships' electricity needs are growing by the day. With population growth, the increase in electric vehicles at home, and the impact of climate change, there is a big demand for our already limited local power network. If we don’t do something to lessen the load on our network, we can expect to see an increased use of fossil fuels or even power cuts.

solarZero is leading the way with an affordable renewable solution to address the energy challenge in Wānaka. Discover how solarZero and its members are leading the change.
How are solarZero customers helping to keep the lights on in their local community?
solarZero benefits for Wānaka

Two of our Wānaka members talk through the benefits of solarZero subscription service for them and their community. 

Working together as one. The more locals who join solarZero in Wānaka the more robust the local power network will become.

Aurora Energy Customers in Wānaka, Tarras, Lake Hawea, Hawea Township, Luggate, and Cardrona who join solarZero will become part of a local energy partnership. The solarZero system installed on your home will reduce the demand for energy from the grid at peak times when demand is highest.  It’s a way to use solar and smart battery storage to save on your power bills and reduce the strain on the local grid. Any excess solar energy you don’t use in your home will be sold back to the grid at 15c/kWh*.

(*rates correct at time of publication, please confirm with your Solar Specialist)

And it’s not just solarZero customers who reap the reward; traditional power users will benefit from a network that is not under stress and less prone to blackouts.

How solarZero’s Aurora energy customers enjoy savings while supporting the community

Aurora Energy customers in Wānaka, Tarras, Lake Hawea, Hawea Township, Luggate, and Cardrona and surrounding areas. (Postcodes:9305, 9382, 9383 and parts of 9384) are invited to participate in a “Peak Demand Management” initiative that will not only save them even more money each year and give them more backup power but will also support their local communities.

Here’s how it works

Aurora Energy anticipates approximately five-ten days per year; the power network will be under stress where peak demand is at risk of exceeding supply. At this time, Aurora Energy instructs solarZero's smart batteries to keep the solarZero batteries fully charged in case of a “power event”. If an event occurs, the battery will be discharged first to support the solarZero customer’s household needs. If the solarZero customer doesn’t need all the stored power, it is sent to the grid, leaving at least 10% emergency power for the homeowner. The owner will be credited by their energy retailer for the energy exported into the grid from the battery.

This is a Peak Demand Management Platform, and it’s how Aurora Energy and solarZero work together to make the area more energy resilient. 

Join solarZero’s Peak Demand Management Platform, and you will be helping to keep the lights on in the region.

As a reward for participating in the Peak Demand Management Platform, solarZero will install an extra 5.4 kWh of battery capacity bringing the total capacity to 10.8kWh. This reduces your grid reliance during peak demand periods and doubles your backup power capacity. 

solarZero customers will receive a credit on their Electricity Bill for any power discharged to the grid.

The benefits of an extra smart battery capacity - provided to all Peak Demand Management participants
For the same price as our normal solarZero subscription, an additional 5.4kWh battery is installed. The benefits of that battery are yours to enjoy 97% of the year for free: 
  • Gives you a total available storage capacity of 10.8kWh
  • Dual batteries give you greater opportunities to save money through the following:
    • Spend more time “Off-Grid” daily using the energy generated and stored at your place.
    • Increase the ability to take advantage of Time-of-Use Pricing fluctuations to purchase cheap energy late at night to use during peak grid pricing.
Double the emergency backup power capacity:
  • You will have up to 9.72kWh of emergency capacity depending on when the outage takes place (guaranteed to have 1.08kWh at a minimum)
  • Solar power will continue to be generated and stored in both batteries during an outage, and you will have access to these emergency reserves throughout.
  • To make the most of available solar power and storage capacity during a blackout, you choose which circuits to prioritise (usually 2 or 3) e.g main lighting circuit and circuits supporting internet, television, water pump and refrigerator. This approach maximises the number of days you can be without power, without food spoiling or losing contact with the outside world.

What happens when Aurora Energy draws on the solarZero battery?

Aurora Energy anticipates that approximately five-ten days per year, the power network will be under stress. To avoid the potential for community-wide power cuts on those days, they will instruct the solarZero smart battery to help support the power system. On these days, the batteries will be kept fully charged, and if needed, the batteries will be called upon to discharge. First, to support the power needs of the solarZero homeowner, any additional power remaining in the battery will be released back to the grid to support the broader community, leaving at least 10% emergency power for the homeowner in case there is a blackout. The homeowner will be paid for any energy discharged back into the grid.


Why has solarZero decided to participate in “Peak Demand Management” with Aurora Energy?

solarZero’s reason for being in business is to make a big difference in the fight against climate change. Our goal is to remove New Zealand's reliance on fossil fuels.

If we demonstrate to traditional grid companies the benefits of solar and battery power to their grid, we can radically speed up the decarbonisation of our electrical and transport networks. Supporting a brighter, cleaner future for all New Zealanders.

solarZero is uniquely positioned to fulfil this role as we centrally manage more than 10,000 smart batteries nationwide.

Aurora Energy is paying us a fee for enabling the solarZero batteries to participate in Peak Demand Management. The fee we have received we have channeled mainly back to our customers providing additional battery capacity for all participating customers.


Who can participate?

Aurora Energy customers in Wānaka, Tarras, Lake Hawea, Hawea Township, Luggate, and Cardrona and surrounding areas. Including homes, schools and other Government-owned buildings.

Postcodes: 9305, 9382, 9383 and some areas of 9384


Will Aurora Energy drain the smart battery?

No. Their first priority is to get solarZero customers to use their stored energy to support their own power needs; then, if there is further available energy, they will draw that from the smart battery to support the broader community. The customer will be credited 15c/kWh* for any energy exported into the grid from the battery; it will appear on your bill from your retailer (Ecotricity or Pulse Energy). *current rate at the time of publishing check with your solar specialist.

The smart battery will always ensure there is 10% available to use if Aurora Energy is unsuccessful in avoiding a power cut. And the battery will be refilled from solar electricity throughout the power cut for you to use.