Te Awamutu based Waipa Networks has been around for a while. Its origins date back more than 100 years when some of New Zealand’s first power Boards were established in Te Awamutu and Cambridge.
With such a long history, it goes without saying that the organization has lived through a lot of changes. But these days with developments in clean technology such as electric vehicles, solar generation and battery storage, the rate of change is exponential. To stay relevant, Waipa Networks has both invested in this technology and changed the way it prices electricity usage.
Subsequently, Waipa Networks has set up the Energy Advanced brand to promote and manage the uptake of new technology such as solar, electric vehicles (EVs), EV charging and home energy management. Energy Advanced also offers a cheaper off-peak rate through its “Advanced” electricity pricing – perfect for charging electric vehicles!
Under this brand, Waipa Networks also sponsors EVolocity – the company sees it as being perfectly aligned with its response to new technology.
Lakewood is a combined commercial/residential development in the heart of Cambridge where Waipa Networks has installed 354kW of solar generation. This forms part of its strategy to meet growing energy needs in the region. This project is not only an ideal avenue to promote clean energy in Waipa – it is also a test environment to experiment with aligning solar output with demand on the company’s electricity network. The development will be monitored over the next few years as an important learning tool for network planning.
EV Fleet and charging
Waipa Networks purchased its first fully-electric vehicle, a Nissan ENV200, in 2016. After using the vehicle to visit thousands of customer sites as part of its connections’ approval process, Waipa Network understood that it was perfect both as a promotional tool and a practical member of its fleet. The company has since added three more fully-electric vehicles along with five plug-in hybrids. It has a long-term goal to convert all its light commercial fleet to electric.
Furthermore, Waipa Networks branded rapid EV chargers can be found in Cambridge, Te Awamutu and soon-to-be in Tamahere, just off the Waikato Expressway. This is thanks to a partnership with national provider Chargenet. Two more chargers are being sponsored at the new Perry Aquatic Centre in Cambridge, as part of a destination charging project, with more likely to follow.
The world of clean technology is an exciting and innovative space to be in and Waipa Networks is proud to be leading the way locally in the Waipa District!