SolarZero steps up to help keep the lights on and provides 30MW of power in response to last night’s grid emergency warning

Following last night’s announcement from Transpower and the Minister for Energy, Simeon Brown, of a potential energy grid emergency, SolarZero’s Virtual Power Plant technology provided 30MW of desperately needed energy into the grid this morning and helped Kiwis keep the lights on.

Yesterday, Transpower issued a formal grid warning notice that New Zealand may be around 20MW short of energy generation this morning. The Minister described this as an electricity crisis and urged Kiwis to conserve power.

In response, SolarZero provided 30MW of electricity from its nationwide network of batteries (called a Virtual Power Plant), to the grid – the equivalent of 100,000 hot water systems. This included 5MW in the South Island – the equivalent to the exact surplus available today.

The Virtual Power Plant was put to the test last winter by SolarZero, Ara Ake and Transpower which successfully showed that it could operate like a grid-scale battery and respond faster than traditional generation, such as coal and gas. See the full results in the report here.

Matt Ward, Chief Executive, SolarZero says, “When key players are saying that coal and gas are our only options to cope with the impending grid emergencies as we go into winter, our response this morning is proof that there’s another solution.”

“We can increase our network ten-fold over the next few years and help manage New Zealand’s peak demand if market mechanisms and regulations enable it. Transpower and industry leaders have been advocating for a market to be created for peak demand events like today for many years, yet New Zealand still doesn’t have one.”

This morning’s real-time response showed that SolarZero customers can: 

  1. Retain all of their home comforts and keep their heaters on, while
  2. lowering their energy bills and
  3. supporting their local community because of their solar and battery systems and 
  4. help keep the lights on throughout the whole country.

“We stepped up today to do our part in averting a crisis and remind the government what solar and battery technology is capable of. We are sending a positive message to the government: we don’t need a dollar of subsidy or special dispensation.

“This technology can address our energy issues today, if market mechanisms are modernised to reflect the tools we already have. The future is already here. We don’t have to keep relying on old technology, like coal and gas, forever,” adds Ward.

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