Kiwi investment in solarZero accelerates growth of solar and battery deployment

New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF) has invested $10 million in solar energy services company solarZero, to support the growth of the company.

NZGIF’s investment complements an existing financing facility from Westpac NZ to accelerate the uptake and deployment of solarZero’s innovative ‘solar as a service’ model that gives customers access to solar energy without the upfront costs.

The solarZero smart solar energy service provides households with more than solar panels. Its systems include solar PV and battery hardware, smart management systems, as well as real-time monitoring to help improve energy efficiency within the home.

These technologies, in turn, extend the benefits of renewable energy beyond individual households. solarZero’s smart technology enables individual solar PV and battery systems to be linked to a ‘virtual power plant’ that supports the resilience of the electricity grid and local lines systems, especially at times of peak power demand.

Currently, solarZero has 3500 smart batteries from its GridforGood™ fleet enrolled in Transpower’s demand response programme, providing a potential 10MW of power for short term demand reduction to support Transpower’s network management, which is set to grow with the aid of NZGIF’s investment.

NZGIF’s investment will accelerate the development of the solarZero technology platform that supports the integration of renewable, distributed energy resources into the power system, increasing capacity that enables the wider electrification and decarbonisation of the economy.

SolarZero chief executive Neil Cowie says he’s delighted to have the support of NZGIF’s investment in the business. He says, “Our business is committed to providing the technology and innovation to reduce individual and collective emissions, one household at a time”.

“By removing the financial barrier and giving households easier access to the benefits of solar energy and smart battery storage, we are building our GridforGoodTM community, creating significant benefits for householders and the electricity network.”

NZGIF’s chief executive Craig Weise says the investment illustrates, once again, that commercially oriented investing can deliver real environmental outcomes. “In this case, we have deployed an innovative subordinated debt facility to support solarZero’s growth, alongside an existing facility developed by Westpac NZ. This also provides a clear example of how NZGIF can work directly with the banking sector.”