Meridian and Kiwi Property have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to installing the country’s largest combined commercial solar installation across at least four major shopping malls throughout New Zealand.

Meridian Chief Executive, Mark Binns, says Meridian’s solar programme with Kiwi Property will encourage the development of further commercial solar projects, which are often hindered by upfront capital costs, performance risks and support requirements.

“Meridian is wanting to help businesses further benefit from renewable energy and had identified segments of the commercial sector where the usage profile meant it made sense for customers and ourselves to work together on a solution. We have really concentrated on working with customers where a ‘win-win’ outcome is possible.”

“Kiwi Property is New Zealand’s largest listed diversified property company, and has demonstrated their commitment to sustainability through their Sylvia Park solar system, making them a strong partner for this project.

Our commercial solar package is an opportunity for Meridian to grow our business in a world of falling distributed energy costs and direct corporate investment in renewable energy which is an evolving global trend” says Binns.

Under the agreement, Meridian will invest in the upfront system cost and then charge Kiwi Property for the solar power generated under an innovative Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) solution. At the end of the PPA term ownership of the system will pass to Kiwi Property.

The installation programme with Kiwi Property is a first for New Zealand, and at an estimated capacity of at least 650 kW will result in Kiwi Property being the country’s largest commercial consumer of solar power. Once the programme is complete it is expected that Kiwi Property’s combined solar power capacity, including their existing 350kW Sylvia Park system, will exceed 1MW.

Kiwi Property Chief Executive, Chris Gudgeon, said: “Kiwi Property has spent the past 15 years seeking better ways to do business, creating portfolio efficiencies while reducing resource consumption, waste to landfill and our carbon footprint, in line with climate science. The Meridian proposition means we can expand the electricity sourced from solar without upfront capital costs or performance risk.”

“The Meridian initiative will allow us to take advantage of on-site renewable power at grid-competitive prices, while also lowering our carbon footprint and directly contributing to the growth of renewables in New Zealand.”

Meridian has engaged leading solar business Reid Technology to provide design and installation services for the programme.

David Reid, Managing Director, Reid Technology says the commercial solar programme is a ’game-changer’ for solar power in New Zealand. The scale of the programme has enabled Reid Technology to upscale of their business and provide ‘best in market’ pricing and services to Kiwi Property and future Meridian customers.