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Client

Foodstuffs North Island

Date

Current

Budget

Confidential

Services

+ Sustainable Advisement

+ Project Management

RDT Pacific is providing Sustainable Advisement Services to Foodstuffs North Island for its new distribution centre and office currently being constructed at The Landing Business Park, Auckland International Airport. This project will see the install of the largest array of solar panels in the country on the roof of the Distribution Centre and a 5 Green Star rated office.

A contract has been awarded to Reid Technology, a privately-owned New Zealand company, for the supply and installation of a 1.166MWp grid-connected solar panel system. This incorporates 2915 solar panels covering a total area of about 6000 square metres and will generate an amount of electricity equivalent to the power needs of 213 average New Zealand homes per year.

Technically known as a photovoltaic (PV) array, this renewable energy solution has been designed to make the office completely “zero carbon” for operational electrical consumption related to the office, something that will be confirmed during its first year of operation.

This facility, being the largest Distribution Centre in New Zealand, offered a rare opportunity for Foodstuffs North Island to realise such significant carbon reductions. The Distribution Centre footprint, at 74,886 square metres, would comfortably accommodate the playing areas of New Zealand’s four major rugby venues – Eden Park, Westpac Stadium, Orangetheory Stadium and Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The array generates enough electricity per year to drive 588 electric vehicles (EVs) 15,000km. Offsetting the electricity will result in savings of 194ton of CO2/a. Any excess electricity will be sold into the grid, albeit the design minimises excess.

Simon Wilson of RDT Pacific, the Director and Sustainable Development Advisor for the project, says the economic viability of this system for Foodstuffs signals a turning point in the industry. “As a major electricity consumer – Foodstuffs has obvious purchasing leverage and the solar option still stacks up. For this reason, this renewable energy solution should be attractive to many more businesses.”

Foodstuffs North Island’s photovoltaic (PV) array at a glance:

  • It will be the largest PV array in New Zealand
  • It will be installed on the roof of the FSNI new distribution centre at the Landing Business Park
  • The PV array consists of 2915 PV modules and covers a total area of 6000m2
  • It is estimated that the PV array will generate enough electricity to offset the electricity consumption of the office
  • The electricity generated by the array in one year will be sufficient to:
  • Power 213 average New Zealand homes
  • Reduce the release of 194 tons of CO2e into the atmosphere
  • Drive 8.8 million kilometres in an electric car. The equivalent of nearly 600 EVs driving 15,000km per year

Technical points

  • The PV array will have a rated output of 1.166 MWp and will be connected to 18 inverters that will convert the DC electricity generated to AC electricity
  • It is estimated that the array will generate 1.5 GWh of electricity per annum
  • The system does not incorporate batteries
  • MWp = megawatt peak is a measure of the rated output of a PV module under peak conditions
  • GWh = gigawatt hours is a measure of electricity use. 1GWh = 1,000,000kWh
  • kWh = kilowatt hour is a measure of electricity use. A kWh is the unit found on your electricity bill