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WITH SUNSHINE.

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YOUR WORLD

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Commercial Case Studies

Innovative electricity solution keeps remote Four Square trading year-round

It’s one of the first shops in the world to see the morning sun, and now the Four Square in Ruatoria is harnessing the sun’s rays in order to keep trading despite the outages that can hit their remote area. Hikurangi Foodmarket Four Square sits on Ruatoria’s main road, about 40km southwest of East Cape. It’s been trading for about the past 30 years but has experienced frequent outages for much of that, up to several times a month for 10-15 minutes, sometimes longer during winter storms. Now, with new solar and battery technology available, current owner-operators Mark Higham and Henry Rasmussen have looked to the sun for a solution.
 

“Installing a solar and battery system has meant when the power does go out we can keep our lights, EFTPOS and computer systems running for hours, instead of having to manually switch over to a petrol generator.”


The solution installed at Ruatoria’s Four Square is a hybrid power system utilising solar panels placed on the roof, and a Tesla Powerwall 2.0 battery. The system still runs when mains electricity is on, collecting solar energy and using it to either power the store or charge the Tesla battery. In the event of an outage the system automatically switches over, and with a fully-charged battery, has the capacity to keep their lights, EFTPOS and computer systems running for up to 6 hours without sun, replacing the stores old emergency power supply (UPS system). The system is thanks to a partnership between innovative new energy solution company PowerSmart and Foodstuffs North Island’s ‘Store of the Future’ initiative.


Higham says other benefits include lower ongoing electricity costs, with the solar arrays providing electricity during the day which is having a positive effect on the monthly power bill.

 
“It also comes with a mobile app that lets me monitor the system remotely, including the battery level, how much power we're consuming at any one time, as well as the energy savings to date. Overall, though, this new system means spending less time on keeping the power supply running and therefore more time to provide locals with a good service they expect and deserve,” Higham says.

"Delivering stable electricity supply through the use of solar and battery is what PowerSmart has done for years," Managing Director Rogier Simons says. "The Ruatoria Four Square is a great example of how the benefits of solar and battery are not always just about saving money on your electricity bill."


Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin says the Store of the Future initiative is focused on identifying, developing and investing in technologies that solve problems for stores and shoppers.


“Any time we can’t serve our customers is an issue and that’s what our Store of the Future team are trying to solve, and it’s fitting that disruptive technologies like batteries and solar can mean less disruption for customers,” says Quin.

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Hikurangi Four Square

Label Title: Hikurangi Four Square

Type: Hybrid

Location: Ruatoria, East Cape

Specs: 7kW solar and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall

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Testimonials

"We have never had a project go so smoothly, they finished two weeks ahead of schedule."

Dan Udy - Director: Udy Group

"We deal with a great number of contractors and would rate PowerSmart's delivery onsite as amongst the very best"

 

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