New Zealand first: Te Rā solar powered gin made in Puhoi

Auckland, 23 September 2019: With the onset of Spring, solarcity New Zealand has partnered with Puhoi Organic Distillery to launch Te Rā, New Zealand's first solar-powered distilled gin.

The juniper-rich, apple and saffron infused gin, crafted in Puhoi, is made using the power of the sun thanks to the solarZero solar energy service from solarcity Puhoi Organic Distillery's artisan gin craftsman, Alex Kirichuk, had been looking for ways to power his gin distillery more sustainably.

"We want to improve our process to minimise the environmental impact and long-term our goal is to become carbon neutral. solarZero means we can use the power of the sun to reduce our reliance on traditional grid power and fossil fuels.

"Gin and sunshine go hand in hand and to celebrate this we've captured sunshine in a bottle by making Te Rā a sunny yellow colour by infusing saffron into the gin."

While solarZero is primarily a residential solar energy service, when Alex contacted the solarcity team, the opportunity to meet his vision to run a predominantly solar-energy run distillery was a chance for the team to apply solarZero’s service benefit to a small business and home solution.

As Alex runs his distillery primarily during the day, but also needs power to his home dwelling as well, two solarZero systems were installed to meet his needs. Together the systems provide on average 24kW per day from the sun, accounting for 50% of Alex’s power needs, halving his reliance on expensive grid power, while the battery is able to store excess power generated by the solarZero system and access to lower-priced renewable grid power when needed. 

Gareth Williams, solarcity NZ’s Head of Energy Services says, “Our solarZero model meant Alex could avoid an upfront installation cost of $45,000 for the system — instead he’ll pay a monthly solar energy service fee and be cost-neutral in the first year. Over the next 20 years he can expect to save an estimated $27,000 on power, so it’s a win-win — better for his business and better for the planet.”

Alex can now boast that his distillery business is now part of solarZero’s “Grid for Good” — a community that is joining the movement towards less reliance on traditional grid power, by utilising solar energy to power homes across New Zealand.

solarcity NZ founder and CEO, Andrew Booth says, “Our goal is to help Kiwis embrace cleaner, greener, smarter energy solutions to meet New Zealand’s goal to become 100% renewable by 2035. Alex has an inspiring green energy vision for his distillery business and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

About solarZero

solarZero is a smart solar energy service which allows homeowners to power their homes by streaming the sun’s energy and converting to usable electricity — at a price which can be up to 30% cheaper than buying electricity from the grid. This unique solar energy service requires no upfront costs, users only pay for their energy consumption. The hardware of the system remains the property of solarcity, who manage the installation, maintenance and servicing (while the homeowner enjoys the benefits without the investment). The solarZero system comprises of solar panels and a smart Panasonic storage battery — allowing stored power to be accessed even when the sun isn’t shining. 

About solarcity New Zealand

solarcity is the nation’s leading solar energy services company. Over the past 35+ years it has put more solar systems on Kiwi homes and businesses than any other company. It was the first solar company in the world to achieve carboNZero certification and is still the only solar energy services business in NZ with that green credential. Independently audited and respected worldwide, carboNZero is a significant endorsement of solarcity’s commitment to sustainability and the environment. Additionally, solarcity is one of the fastest growing green companies in New Zealand and is one of the Government’s Focus 500 companies that are targeted to contribute significant benefits to the New Zealand economy. solarcity is backed by Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 investment fund and the nation’s oldest private equity fund, Pencarrow. Of recent note, they now use an award winning financing mechanism developed by solarcity and Westpac to lock in a fixed, low cost, inflation free price for solar power across 20 years, which removes any and all technology risk.

There are 400 limited edition bottles of Te Rā Gin created and available to purchase from Puhoi Organic Distillery. Pre-register here for your chance to savour the power of the sun.

To find out more about Te Rā, please visit the Te Rā page here. To learn more about solarZero, click here.