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Kiwi companies recognised for sustainable energy projects


15 November 2019

Two New Zealand sustainable energy companies, Infratec and Sunergise, have each won two sustainable energy awards in the past week for solar projects in the Pacific.

Infratec received an Energy Globe National Award on Wednesday night for its Cook Islands mini-grid project and Sunergise was presented with an Energy Globe National Award for its Fiji Rural Electrification Programme.

Both companies were also recognised last Friday with the SEANZ (Sustainable Electricity Association of NZ) Award for Best Grid Connected Renewable Energy System, for their joint venture project in Nauru.

Nauru is the smallest island nation in the world and largely relies on imported diesel fuel to provide electricity to its 11,000 inhabitants. The joint venture's 1.15 MW solar plant, commissioned last month, is part of a larger drive to reduce reliance on imported diesel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. it is expected to provide 2112 MWh annually (6.6% of the annual energy consumption in Nauru), and to save 600,000L of diesel annually.

Infratec's Cook Islands project has delivered four solar plants, providing clean, reliable and affordable energy to almost 1,500 people - about 9% of the population - and meeting about 95% of the energy supply needs of four islands that were previously supplied solely by diesel generators.

Infratec Chief Executive Greg Visser said it was pleasing to see the benefits that the projects are delivering.

"These are the sorts of projects that we relish doing at Infratec and Sunergise, which are all about making people and the planet better off, and we are really delighted to have that work recognised in this way," Greg Visser said.

"Both projects are delivering significant ongoing environmental and community benefits through the reduction of reliance on diesel power and reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

The Sunergise Fiji Rural Electrification project is a 'pay-forward' funding solution to bring sustainable cost-effective energy to up to 500 communities. It was made possible with support from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Fiji government.

Sunergise CEO, Paul Makumbe said: “The future is about forming new energy partnerships and implementing innovative solutions. We are excited to be bringing these kind of projects to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.”