The Future Looks Bright: Oakley’s Journey to Solar Power
We are proud to announce Oakley’s has installed a 220kw solar operation to power our Southbridge site! This is one of the largest installations in the South Island to date. We have worked with CPS Solar to introduce this grid-tied solar system. During the daytime, we can harness energy from the sun to power our packhouse, enabling us to efficiently store, wash, pack and dispatch our fresh vegetables across the country.
“Life on Earth wouldn’t be possible without the sun. It’s essential for growing things, it makes us feel good when we’re basking in it and it is a crucial component of sunset photos on Instagram. The sun is also proving to be an increasingly important and affordable source of renewable energy as the world starts to walk away awkwardly from fossil fuels. ” (Fahy, 2022)
The New Zealand government are aiming to reach a 90% renewable electricity target. By transitioning to a mostly solar approach, Oakley’s will contribute to the country’s renewable electricity generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“New Zealand has committed to being net-zero carbon by 2050. Our electricity demand is expected to double by 2050 as we put more EVs on the roads and electrify various industrial processes that have traditionally used fossil fuels. A high proportion of New Zealand’s electricity already comes from renewable sources, primarily hydro, but in 2021, due to low lake levels and restricted gas supply, we burned more coal than we have in ten years just to keep the lights on. We need more large-scale renewable generation to cope with that predicted increase in demand (47% more, according to Transpower), but we also need more individual homes and businesses to generate their own energy and reduce their own emissions.” (Fahy, 2022)
This installation is the next step for Oakley’s along our sustainability journey. From carefully measuring nitrogen to monitoring soil and plant nutrition, hear about our journey and how we harvested three farm environment awards here.
Fahy, B. (2022). How the sun’s power is changing our electricity market. Retrieved from https://thespinoff.co.nz/partner/28-01-2022/how-the-suns-power-is-changing-our-electricity-market