Powering the next generation

For schools and universities

ZEN Energy is proud to help support the next generation of New Zealand students with tailored solar energy systems to fuel their schooling.

Why get solar for schools or universities?

New Zealand schools and universities are in a prime position to take advantage of the full range of benefits from solar energy. Because they consume nearly all of their energy during the day when lessons are in session, solar offers financial benefits beyond those of even other commercial systems.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Bren Winitana, Chairman of the Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand, explained in a New Zealand Herald article that the country’s approximately 2,500 schools could cut their power bills by $20 million a year if they all installed solar energy.

The cost of installation would be paid back in seven years, providing completely free electricity thereafter, and allowing for the savings to be diverted into better learning opportunities for students.

The financial benefits are considerable, but so are the educational opportunities. The visibility of a solar energy system and its performance will help to educate the students and allow them to grow throughout their education with a better understanding of the real, practical benefits of solar energy. This will help to form a generation of New Zealanders where solar energy and renewables become second-nature; just a standard part of everyday life, where commercial solar energy systems will be seen on the majority of available rooftops, delivering local and abundant energy to all types of enterprise.

Case study facts

Project highlights

Whangaparaoa College in Auckland wanted to better live their values of energy efficiency and sustainability.

150 Panels

Settled on a 150-panel, 42kW commercial solar system for school of 1,500 students


System generates 59,000kWh per year which covers 12% of the school’s total demand

ZEN Energy Systems is very proud to have completed the installation of a 42 kW commercial solar energy system for Whangaparaoa College in Auckland, adding to ZEN's growing list of commercial solar installations.

Whangaparaoa College is a state secondary school located on the North Shore of Auckland, delivering positive learning outcomes to approximately 1,500 students. With the school being committed to energy efficiency and sustainability, it was driven to demonstrate this to staff, students and the general public. Through third party consultancy, Torque IP, the school issued a Request for Proposal to identify a specialist solar energy partner with the necessary experience in the design, planning, scheduling, permitting, installation, testing and commissioning of commercial solar energy systems, to ensure a fully managed and well-executed commercial solar energy project.

With a large baseload energy demand and heavy daytime use, Whangaparaoa College was looking for a commercial solar energy system that would:

Help to offset their standard electrical demand when the school is in operation
Have the potential to considerably offset their baseload electrical demand during weekends and terms breaks
Educate students and staff in sustainability and renewable energy sources
Meet the school's sustainability goals and reduce their impact on the environment
Provide a meaningful reduction in electricity purchased from the grid, while allowing easy future system expansion

Upon being awarded the contract to complete the project, ZEN set about delivering a commercial solar energy system that the school would be proud of, both in the short term and well beyond the expiration of the 25 year dual warranty period.


Making full use of the school's 'J Block' roof and enabling visibility to students and visitors, ZEN designed the commercial solar energy system to consist of 150 x 280 watt LONGi Solar panels on tilt frames to maximise year-round generation. Each panel has been paired up with an AP Systems micro-inverter, delivering on the school's desire for long-life warranties of 25 years (matching panel performance warranties) and individual panel monitoring.


In the same manner as a commercial business, the school's operations are ideally matched to benefit from solar energy. The extensive consumption analysis completed by ZEN showed that the school base load demand will be significant enough to see close to 100% of the solar generation used internally. Continued monitoring of system generation vs. consumption will further help understand the needs of any future system expansion.

With an expected output of approximately 59,000 kWh per year, the system will provide approximately 12% of the school's current electrical demand. To put this into perspective, this is enough energy to run seven standard New Zealand houses, 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year. Not bad for a single commercial roof!

Contact us today to go solar and save

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What our clients say

Beep & Harry S

"It’s been great. We have noticed savings from the very start, the wine was nice I won’t lie. Our bills are 40-50% less."

Grant & Marilyn H

"I was skeptical about the savings at first, we are now saving over 50% on our power bills, summer ones have dropped from $450 to $200 and winter has gone from $660 down to $320. We are happy with how persistent Jake was, the results are great"

Bronwyn & John

“Pretty good I am a country bumkin so pretty good is pretty good, our winter bills have dropped from $400 – $260 & summer from $130 down to $60. I have been recommending ZEN to anyone who asks”