Air New Zealand will install the largest single solar array in New Zealand at its Auckland Technical Operations base later this month.
The photovoltaic array will consist of 480 solar panels on the roof of one of the airline’s hangars covering an area of around 750 square metres or four times the size of the average Kiwi house. The solar array is expected to generate 160,000KwH of electricity each year – enough to power 23 average Kiwi households.
The installation, which will provide around 30 percent of the hangar’s electricity needs, is part of a companywide energy programme which has focused on energy reduction and adoption of new technology.
Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morganwho has responsibility for sustainability for the airline says Air New Zealand set a target in 2011 to reduce electricity use by five percent per annum and has already significantly exceeded this goal, with 25 percent savings in the year to date.
“This has been due in part to metering technology which allows us to constantly monitor and profile energy use in each of our buildings, enabling smarter business and investment decisions due to transparency of consumption and cost.
“The opportunities offered by solar technology to further reduce the amount of electricity taken from the grid are very exciting for our business,” says Captain Morgan.
The solar energy programme will also focus on increasing staff awareness of energy consumption both at work and home.