In a first for the District, eight solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are being installed on the Ōtaki Library and Memorial Hall complex in the town’s Main Street.
The panels are being positioned over the Memorial Hall entrance and will produce some of the electricity for the buildings.
They will also be linked to the electricity network so any excess power can be sold.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate grid-connected solar PV technology, which is rapidly reducing in price and which produces emission-free electricity from sunlight.
Kāpiti Coast District Council, Electra and Ōtaki-based business Astara Technologies have worked together on the project.
Other sponsors include clean technology businesses ESG Energy Ltd, who installed the system, Mitsubishi Electric, who supplied the solar panels, Enasolar Ltd, who have supplied the AC/DC inverter for the system, and GreenKeeper Systems Ltd.
A real-time information system is also being developed to display the performance of the system on the internet and as part of a permanent exhibit in the library building.
Angled to reduce glare
The solar panels are being adjusted to slope at a lower angle in order to reduce glare. The lower angle will also have the effect of increasing annual power production but will reduce the visibility of the system.
People wishing to learn more about the installation, and grid-connected solar electricity, have been invited to the Energise Ōtaki Forum meeting in the Library Supper Room on Sunday (November 27) from 2pm to 4pm.