Auckland's Climate Action Plan

Community energy solutions through smart grids and on-site electricity generation

Expand on the Vector and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei community energy solution ( and roll this out (require through planning processes) to all new developments, and consider retro-fitting other communities.  This could be combined with the EV idea and solar schools to share and store electricity.

Peter Wallis Aug 7, 2018

Hi Charles,
I'm right behind you! I have been aware of Vector's trials together with Auckland Uni. One of their worries was that the local network might crash with too many grid tied inverters putting in juice from solar panels and taking it out randomly. From memory, they concluded that provided the correct inverters were used, with appropriate settings, there was no problem. They recommended including a lithium ion battery which could be controlled via the internet for household backup, and and shifting power to grid use at times when extra power was needed, and storing power when it was not in demand.

I've recently finished a spreadsheet for the whole of NZ which looks at the the 2017 fuel consumption - petrol and diesel. Looks at the last census to estimate the number of roofs that solar PV could be put on, and the vehicle road licensing numbers to see how much fuel is used per vehicle, etc. Allowing for the dramatically better energy efficiencies of EVs over ICE vehicles the results are most encouraging. NZ would be significantly better off by putting Solar Panels on domestic house roofs (petrol) and business roofs (diesel), to drive the EVs. Payback times for cost of panels etc. are quite short. If a battery becomes mandatory they are lengthened, but nowhere near the expected life of the panels of 30 years. So eventually they will be driving with an EV and no "fuel" costs !

Surely this is the way to quickly cut carbon emissions and create a carbon free all electric economy for Auckland?

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Janet Cole 9 months ago

Couldn't agree more. The future is local. I was truly disappointed the Commissioner for the Environment concluded solar panels was not a great choice for NZ because I felt there was a limited consideration of models that could be used. I think there needs to be more consideration of non-grid tied and combined small scale generation plus reduced/ smart use solutions for a neighbourhood.

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Peter Wallis 9 months ago

Hi Janet,
Yes I was also disappointed by the Commissioners attitude! I have recently come across 'sonnen', a German company selling their gear in the US. They are creating a Virtual Power Plant by installing their gear in 2900 homes under construction at Mandalay, Virginia. Their equipment learns the householders habits and needs and has access to weather forecasts etc.via internet and manages a household storage battery to maximize the benefits of solar panels and electric vehicles to both the householder and the grid.
But the main point is that the householder does not have to spend time instructing the equipment what to do, it is autonomous!

Once finished the whole 2900 group will be able to buy and sell power to the grid at advantageous prices!
For more, Google 'Sonnen brings its virtual power plant to US with 2900 homes'.

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