Kāinga Tuatahi in Kupe Street is a 30-home residential development for iwi first home owners delivered by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Vector has collaborated with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to demonstrate how a future community energy solution might operate by installing solar and battery storage in each home. Not only is this already changing how these residents consume power, but how they will one day share it as well.
There’s an inverter and a Tesla Powerwall battery at each property. Residents stay connected to mains power and pay for that, but their monthly energy bills have fallen to as low as $13. Each system is paid for as part of a monthly development fee that residents pay to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, which also includes their mortgage repayments.
The energy that's stored in the neighbourhood could one day stay in the neighbourhood
That capability is a glimpse into the future we see for New Zealanders: neighbour-to-neighbour distribution, potentially allowing people with excess power to exchange it with those who need more but don’t have the means, or to sell it to their neighbour or back to the grid for additional income.
Photo credits: Paperboy and Michael Lewis