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Minister of Energy and Resources, Simon Bridges, last week switched on New Zealand’s first Tesla Energy Powerwall battery at a South Auckland primary school.

The Powerwall, a home battery that powers appliances using electricity generated from solar panels, was hooked up to its accompanying solar power system at Otara’s Rongomai School, and will benefit up to thirty Auckland schools. 

The state of the art, renewable energy package will charge itself from the attached solar arrays, or draw power from the grid at off-peak pricing times, providing additional power to the schools on dark, overcast days, or when the solar panels alone cannot meet energy needs.

Speaking at the school, Mr Bridges said, “How we generate, manage and use energy in New Zealand is changing. We’re at the forefront of innovative and new technology that is giving customers greater choice over their energy use, and this is another great example.”

Located on New Zealand’s North Island, the city of Auckland receives well over 2000 hours of bright sunshine every year, however, in the winter months this can average at just five sunshine hours per day. The advantage of the Powerwall is that solar power can be stored for later use, and can also allow peaks in electricity demand to be more efficiently managed.  It is suggested that the introduction of battery packs such as the Powerwall will give renewable energy sources, like solar, greater potential to compete within the energy sector.

“The electricity sector must keep pace with Kiwi consumers, who are early and eager adopters of new technology, and take the opportunities this new innovation presents,” said Mr Bridges. “Innovation provides greater choice, better services, and more value for money to consumers. New services are already giving consumers greater choices to meet their energy needs and use energy more efficiently, a trend that will only continue to gain more momentum.”

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