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New Zealand’s largest single solar array goes live

August 11, 2014 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

New Zealand’s largest single solar array has been switched on today at Air New Zealand’s Technical Operations base at Auckland Airport.

Air New Zealand’s photovoltaic solar array at the airline’s Auckland Technical Operations base.

Air New Zealand’s photovoltaic solar array at the airline’s Auckland Technical Operations base.

The installation on the roof of one of the airline’s hangars comprises 480 solar panels covering an area of around 750 square metres, almost three tennis courts.

The array is expected to generate 160,000KwH of electricity each year, powering up to 30 per cent of the hangar’s electricity needs.  Metering equipment has also been installed and will allow the airline to measure electricity consumption in real time.

Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan who has responsibility for sustainability for the airline says the company is continually looking at ways to reduce its energy consumption.

“We have been focussed for some time on energy reduction whether it be through installing metering technology so we can monitor usage across different sites or increasing awareness amongst our staff on consumption and cost.  We are excited about the possibilities solar provides and hope to see some real energy savings through this array,” says Captain Morgan.

Air New Zealand set a target in FY11 to reduce electricity use by five percent per annum and has already significantly exceeded this goal, with around 25 percent savings in the programme to date.

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