solarcity appoints Gareth Williams to head energy services division and launches utility and grid services

solarcity, the nation’s leading solar power company, today announced the appointment of Gareth Williams as Head of Energy Services. He will oversee solarcity’s energy services team and will lead the delivery of grid services to the nation’s utilities, local councils and developers.

Mr Williams was previously Vector Limited’s Group Manager of Strategic Solutions where he was responsible for the development of the company’s strategies to manage the impacts of new technologies and developing “behind the meter” energy services to deliver network and customer benefits and unregulated revenue for lines companies.

“Gareth is a visionary executive, and he’s incredibly passionate about climate change and creating the new energy strategies that will help shape a low carbon economy for our nation,” said solarcity CEO Andrew Booth.

“We have built and designed some of largest solar systems in the Pacific and have installed more solar systems on homes and businesses than any other company in New Zealand. Gareth will lead the development of our utility and grid services which extends our current initiatives with Transpower’s on demand response programme and builds on the knowledge gained from joint ventures and partnerships with Meridian and Genesis.”

solarcity’s new utility services, which were also launched today, are designed to provide an alternative for lines companies, local councils and developers to build virtual and utility scale solar power plants in New Zealand.

solarcity is now able to manage the entire process from financing and design to installation, advanced controls and optimisation, and system maintenance. Utilising solar energy typically costs far less than building traditional generation and network assets, and solar energy rates are locked in for years into the future, protecting local councils and customers from electricity price increases. This also provides attractive alternatives for developers in providing energy services for their projects.

As a complement to solar power, solarcity, through its close partnership with Panasonic, now offers dispatchable storage to intelligently take advantage of affordable solar power when it is needed most.

Together, distributed solar and storage can help utilities manage peak load and provide services to customers more cost effectively than traditional fossil fuel-based and centralised solutions. It also helps local councils build resilience across communities, which is of particular importance in cities like Wellington.

“In partnership with solarcity we recently launched the nation’s first affordable solar battery programme in Wellington alongside the city council,” said Stewart Fowler, CEO of Panasonic New Zealand.

“solarcity’s rapidly increasing solar-battery portfolio is already providing grid services such as dynamic capacity and peak shaving, flexible ramping, grid visibility and more, all managed through Panasonic’s and solarcity’s software and control platform.”