Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira awarded Enviro Gold by Qualmark
Auckland War Memorial Museum has added to its collections with the largest 'exhibition' of micro-inverter solar panels in the country.
Although not on display to the public, 189 solar panels housed on the Museum roof, are now generating enough power each day to light the exterior of the building by night thanks to a partnership with Meridian Energy.
The solar panel system is connected to the national electricity grid, however all the energy generated from the sun’s rays will be used onsite, reducing the Museum’s electricity bill and its carbon emissions footprint.
Auckland Museum Director, Roy Clare says: “I'm extremely proud the Museum has now added renewable energy to its sustainability efforts, and thank our partner Meridian for their help in making this happen. It means every dollar not spent on energy usage can be spent connecting our collections and programmes with our visitors.
“Through our programmes onsite, online and beyond our walls we look forward to encouraging engaging discussions on the topic.”
The micro-inverter solar panels, held to the roof with weights which can withstand 200km/h winds, are located on the eastern and western side of the Museum roof and do not exceed the parapet height in order to ensure the heritage character of the iconic building remains. However, visitors will be able to see the solar panel system in action, including how much they are generating, from within the Museum building via a live monitoring screen, and online.
Meridian Energy Retail General Manager, Alan McCauley, says Meridian is delighted to have been able to partner with its customer Auckland Museum on the solar installation. “Producing electricity from 100% renewable resources is the cornerstone of Meridian’s business and we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to share our expertise with the Museum.”
The amount of renewable energy generated by the solar panels will be equivalent to the power consumed by around eight average households, or approximately 60,000 kWh per annum. This will reduce the Museums’ associated carbon emissions by at least 10 tonnes per annum.
The museum's sustainability initiatives have been recognised by Qualmark with an Enviro Gold rating.