KEA Energy will soon become NZ’s largest solar energy farm. Located on a 4-hectare site in the beautiful Wairau Valley in Blenheim, the on-site inverter has a total capacity of 2.2 MVA. This is being introduced to the grid in stages as capacity of the Marlborough Lines network is upgraded to meet the new requirement.
A New Zealand family owned and run business, Kea staff are working with an enthusiastic team made up of local retirees, Canterbury University students, other students enjoying a gap year and Tai Poutini to bring this dream to fruition. Now nearing completion, the project is currently producing 1 MW of electricity that is being transmitted to the national grid.
While many components were sourced from around the globe, Kea chose to use Weidmuller combiner boxes not only because they provide best in class connectivity, string monitoring and surge protection, also due to the local support. This is proudly provided by Peter Gillespie from Cuthbert Stewart and Geoff Thomson – Weidmuller’s NZ Area Manager.
Filled with grapevines, wineries and pine nut trees the Blenheim region enjoys some of New Zealand’s longest sunshine hours. Combining this with bifacial (double sided) panels make this another one of New Zealand’s eco-friendly sources of electricity.