Laminex, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building, is a leading supplier of benchtops and other building products. Its manufacturing facility in Te Rapa, owned by the Udy Group, has a consistently high electricity demand. Volatile wholesale electricity prices in late 2018 created high and uncertain monthly power costs for Laminex. Udy Group wanted to offer an environmentally friendly solution for its tenant which could provide a hedge against volatile electricity prices while also monetising the large unused roof space at the facility and increasing its capital value.
Adopting a similar model to the Tarewa Mega Centre, Udy Group engaged Vector Powersmart to install the largest feasible system size on the roof space available at the facility. 531kW of solar panels, the largest rooftop system in the country at the time of installation, was designed and delivered by Vector Powersmart in late 2020. The system was financed by the Udy Group who have a separate power purchase agreement (PPA) with Laminex to sell all the solar electricity generated at the facility for an agreed price over the next 10 years.
For Udy Group, the solar photovoltaic (PV) array adds significant capital value to the building and will generate electricity to the facility for up to 20 years. It also keeps a long-term tenant happy as a material proportion of Laminex’s daytime electricity costs are now fixed over the agreed term of the PPA. This provides Laminex with a hedge against volatility while also reducing operational emissions.
‘We are always looking for ways to increase the yields on our properties while providing our tenants with a better environment, to secure longer tenancy terms – commercial solar definitely ticks all of these boxes’
Dan Udy – Director Udy Group