Melbourne-based Allume Energy has installed its SolShare product at a residential complex in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island with the behind-the-meter solar distribution technology to allow all 20 households to share the benefits of a single rooftop PV system.
The complex, built by government housing agency Kāinga Ora, has been fitted with a 34.425 kWp rooftop PV system featuring 85 REC Alpha Pure solar panels. The system also includes two Fronius inverters and two Allume Solshare units which allow for the consumption and metering of rooftop solar among multiple building tenants.
NZ Housing Minister Megan Woods said the SolShare platform would enable the sharing of rooftop solar amongst multiple dwellings within the same complex for the first time in the country with the installation to provide electricity to all 20 apartments and to the common areas in the building.
To achieve this the SolShare units sit behind the meter, constantly monitoring the energy demands of all energy consumers connected to its system, and proportionally allocates generated energy at any given time.
Woods said the technology is expected to save residents about 50% on their power bills.
“Estimates show that this system will save tenants around $350-$400 each year on their power bill,” she said.
“An advantage of the technology is that it doesn’t restrict the customers’ choice of electricity retailer, and there’s no need to sign up for additional billing services or platforms, so nothing changes for customers other than their power bill.”
The Christchurch project is the latest international installation for Allume which has already had success in the United States and United Kingdom.
For Kāinga Ora’s, this project is part of its broader renewable energy program. The agency is also exploring the benefits of installing solar on stand-alone homes and other apartment complexes across the country.
Key objectives for the trials, funded until mid-2024 through the NZ government’s Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund, include reducing energy costs and improving knowledge on the costs, benefits, barriers and design options for distributed energy solutions on public housing.
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