Seven innovative new community-scale energy projects are set to receive government funding through the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fundd, Energy and Resources Minister, Megan Woods announced today.
The Minister said the latest investment will bring more affordable, locally generated clean energy to more than 800 Māori households.
“We’ve already funded 42 small-scale clean energy projects that generates 1925kW of electricity and provides 1121kWh of storage for around 435 Māori households. As a result, we’ve seen household monthly power bills drop significantly – up to 50%,” she said.
“In this round, we’ve deliberately focused on larger-scale projects. The broader scope means there’s more space for projects to innovate and trial new ways of generating, distributing and managing community-generated and owned energy.
“For example, a project in Northland’s Ohaeawai area will generate power from a large solar array that will then be exported to an electricity retailer. The revenue will be used to offset power bills of about 80 homes in the area.”
Some projects from earlier funding rounds have also enhanced the resilience of communities and reduced reliance on diesel generators, lowering emissions, said Minister Woods.
“Others provide opportunities to support Māori energy businesses and empower communities to have greater energy independence,” she said.
Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing), Minister Willie Jackson said the Government’s support has enabled Waingākau Housing Development’s Waingākau’s vision to establish a strong, vibrant and thriving community.
“Waingākau is a community where intergenerational Māori whānau can obtain high-quality housing. Incorporating solar energy systems into some homes enables these whānau to access more affordable power, which can encourage heating homes and lead to better health outcomes,” he said.
“We’ve heard that whānau who benefited from the solar energy systems at Waingākau. One whānau had their monthly bill down to $40.”
Once all 49 projects are complete, the Māori Housing Renewable Energy Fund will support energy projects reaching an estimated 1270 households, and generate an estimated 4207kW of renewable electricity with 2839kWh of battery storage, the Ministers said.
This Fund sits as part of the Māori alongside the Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund, where Kāinga Ora is trialling solar panels on public homes. To date, solar panels have been installed on 210 public homes, with the aim of reaching 750 homes in 2024.
As part of the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund Kāinga Ora is also undertaking solar energy trials, delivering rooftop solar on more than 200 public homes, with the aim of reaching 750 households by 2024.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment website has more information on the Māori Housing Renewable Energy Fund.