‘This could snowball into something big’: Plans begin for rooftop solar farm

One of the two areas of the roof where the planned solar farm will be located. Photograph by Daniel Crichton-Rouse. Te Papa

Plans have begun to convert 3,000 square metres of our roof into New Zealand’s largest solar farm.

Conversations are underway with local energy companies and international contractors.

“This solar project is a huge opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment by generating our own ‘green energy’,” said David Robinson, Chief Operating Officer.

“Te Papa should walk the talk around our natural environment, and the economics make good sense too!”

Any surplus energy provided by the 500-kilowatt project can be pushed to the national grid.

Dean Peterson, Head of Science, said it shows the public that we’re doing our part for the environment.

“This is especially important given the content of the Natural History renewal exhibition,” he said. “We are focusing on environmental issues and how people and organisations can help create a better environment in the future.

“The solar panel farm alone will not change the world, but if we begin a serious discussion and challenge to others, this could snowball into something big.”

Accompanying data from the solar farm could be integrated into future exhibitions.