Contracting Capabilities

Northpower provides contracting services across the North Island including engineering, infrastructure management and maintenance and construction.

Large scale solar

Large scale solar projects

There are a number of key factors to determine if investing in large scale solar – such as installing solar panels on the roof of your business or warehouse – is right for your business. Studies have been undertaken by EECA that showed the return on such an investment varied greatly, from a high of 8.6% for a manufacturing site in Auckland, to a low of 0.4% for a big box retail site in Dunedin.

Key factors include sunshine hours and how big the optimum system size is (bigger businesses need bigger systems, which creates economies of scale). However, the results were also significantly affected by the timing of electricity demand, solar generation, and electricity pricing, which are all very unique to each business operation and region.

A key recommendation for businesses considering investing in solar is to carry out this type of analysis to accurately forecast financial returns.

Looking for grid-scale solar information?

We have construction capability for grid-scale photovoltaic (solar) generation systems for both utility and commercial/ industrial applications.

Find out more about our end-to-end project, design and engineering, execution and construction solutions.

Solar capital investment costs

The costs required to install large scale solar are constantly dropping, and we strongly recommend any business investigating this as an option undertakes thorough analysis, including different providers for the infrastructure. There are now a wide variety of solar sellers across Aotearoa New Zealand, but not all have the necessary experience in larger scale operations. Our team is happy to provide independent advice on this subject.

Important questions to ask

If you are looking at investing in large scale solar, here are some important questions to ask, based on a checklist put together by EECA:

  • Does your business have a very large, unshaded roof space?
  • How much electricity does your business use and when?
  • How much do you pay for electricity?
  • What are your lines company costs (from us at Northpower)?
  • How much will solar cost to install and maintain?


Our team is happy to provide advice and support to help you answer these questions and assess your options.