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Environment Canterbury to lead the way with solar

Brooke Hunter
Antoinette Spicer
Environment Canterbury
Environment Canterbury's building on Tuam St, Christchurch.  Brooke Hunter

Canterbury's regional councill will install 124 solar panels at its Christchurch headquarters in Tuam St.

This comes as part of a partnership with New Zealand's largest renewable energy provider, Meridian Energy.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) Asset Services Manager Bronwyn Simmonds said the 40-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panels would be operational this year.

Simmonds would not reveal the cost of the solar panels but said they would reduce ECan's energy usage by 7 percent and cut 8000 kg of carbon emissions a year.

ECan was not considering solar battery storage as it was impractical and too costly.

"Solar energy aligns perfectly with Environment Canterbury's vision of sustainable development, it promotes regional leadership," Simmonds said.

She said ECan planned to investigate uses for solar energy beyond office buildings.

Meridian Energy has a similar solar energy arrangement with Whakatane District Council and last year signed a deal with commercial property owner Kiwi Property to install solar power systems at four shopping malls including Christchurch's Northlands Mall.