Mercury has started construction of a Research and Development (R&D) centre in Auckland to showcase world-leading solar, battery storage and other energy technologies.
Fraser Whineray, chief executive of Mercury says the new R&D Centre on the site of the former gas-fired Southdown power station is “a signpost to the future and New Zealand’s continued leadership in renewable energy”.
The initial installation is to be completed by November this year and will include highly-efficient glass panels from global leader Trina Solar along with three types of battery technology, smart electric vehicle charging solutions, and sophisticated energy analytics and monitoring equipment.
Whineray says the local test-bed for world-leading consumer generation reflects the unstoppable momentum of renewables in New Zealand.
“This is about extending our strength in renewables and making proven new options available, particularly with electric vehicles and solar, to give Kiwis more freedom in how they generate, store and use energy,” he explains.
Mercury has also been confirmed as the preferred residential and commercial sales partner in New Zealand for Trina Solar.
Matthew Olde, Mercury exec, says it’s a fantastic opportunity for the company to bring the very best technology in the world to Kiwis.
“We are New Zealand’s only solar installer, electricity retailer and 100% renewable energy generator. This unique combination establishes Mercury as a ‘one-stop shop’ for our customers to understand how solar and storage options can work together to deliver new ways to enjoy our wonderful clean, green New Zealand energy,” he explains.
“We want our customers to know how this technology performs. We believe it’s important for Mercury’s customers to have options tailored to their needs so they get the most value out of their energy,” adds Olde.
He says the company will also be trialling a variety of solar panels, including advanced prototypes not yet available in New Zealand.
According to Whineray, Mercury’s acquisition of one of New Zealand’s leading solar businesses (What Power Crisis) in March of this year added proven installation and technical expertise to the company.
“Solar is becoming an increasingly popular choice for New Zealand homeowners and businesses, and this in-house capability is strategically important as we continue to shape new offerings for Mercury customers,” he says.
“We want to inspire Kiwis to enjoy energy in more wonderful ways. That could be creating and storing your own energy, plugging in your car to enjoy low-cost renewable fuel or just having the freedom to get more out of the electricity you use in your home.”