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11 November 2019

Mitre 10 Te Kuiti now powered by the sun

Last week, 114 solar panels were installed on the roof of Mitre 10 Te Kuiti that will annually produce around 85% of the store’s electricity needs.

During testing on Thursday afternoon, the system was producing more power than the store needed, meaning a small surplus was being pushed back out on to the grid. While this will be the case most days in summer, in winter the store will still rely on the grid to top up its power needs.

Vaughan Wheeler has owned the Mitre 10 Te Kuiti store for nearly 25 years and is a second-generation Mitre 10 owner, having grown up helping after school in his Dad’s Mitre 10 store down in Taumarunui, which is now run by his brother Kim.

Going solar is a way that Vaughan can ensure the doors of his local store stays open for another generation to come by reducing electricity costs in the long term. The system is guaranteed to generate power for 25 years, but he says the investment will pay off within six years.

“I did my sums and the figures don’t lie. They stack up for me. I’ve finally pushed the go button, and we will just have to wait and hopefully it does what it says it does. After the initial testing, I was really chuffed with the result. It was home for a couple of beers to celebrate,” Vaughan said.

The panels, as well as two large inverters, were installed last week by a team of experts from SolarKing. Roy Maddox of SolarKing reports that more and more business owners are making the move to solar power.

“For many, it’s a combination of cost savings and showing a commitment to the environment and cutting down a company’s carbon footprint,” says Maddox. “With financial returns exceeding 12-14% per annum, solar power really makes sense and being able to lock down power costs for the long term also makes a significant difference to many businesses bottom line over a long period. It’s great to see more recognition and uptake of green technology by forward thinking businesses such as Mitre 10 Te Kuiti!”