EECA names top energy project finalists

New Zealand’s most innovative energy-saving and renewable energy projects have been revealed, and they include an ambitious scheme to insulate the entire township of Foxton; the largest coal to wood pellet conversion in the southern hemisphere; a truck running on landfill biogas; a family-run hydro electricity scheme built on an old Otago gold mine cut; and a bank which reduced electricity use by 23 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.

The 2012 EECA Awards finalists announced today celebrate organisations and individuals that demonstrate excellence and innovation in energy efficiency or renewable energy. This year, nearly 90 entries were received.

According to the EECA, collectively the entries will deliver energy savings, or generate energy, worth more than $60 million over the life of the projects.

“These are trailblazers who are finding innovative energy solutions and tackling energy use head on. They’re making a difference in the community, to business, to the environment, to the economy - and crucially, to our everyday understanding of energy. This benefits all of us,” said Mike Underhill, EECA chief executive.

“Although many businesses are still dealing with the impact of the recession, there are many taking a longer term view and proactively improving energy use. This helps future-proof organisations against price rises, and strengthens their ability to compete on the international stage. It also helps our national energy security and promotes the shift to a lower carbon economy - all of which boosts the competitiveness of New Zealand Inc.”

Winners will be revealed on May 23 at an awards ceremony in Auckland.
The finalists in alphabetical order are:

Large Business Award

ASB – ‘Save Watt’ energy management programme
Nelson Pine Industries – energy savings through motor system and heat optimisation
SCA Hygiene Australasia – replacement of gas boilers with direct geothermal steam

Small Business Award

Alpin Motel and Conference Centre, Rotorua – innovative heat exchange to capture renewable geothermal heat
EcoSystems / Whanganui Pak N’Save – store-wide energy efficiency saves 40%
Life Technologies, Christchurch – sustainability and energy saving initiatives

Innovation Award

Aurecon NZ Ltd / Dominion Salt – vacuum plant upgrade to expand capacity by 63%
NIWA – biogas transport fuel demonstration project at Redvale Landfill
Simply Energy – energy retail ‘white label’ services for distributed generation

Energy Management Award

ASB – ‘Save Watt’ energy management programme
DMS Progrowers Ltd – post-harvest energy management at Te Puke and Te Puna
Nelson Pine Industries Ltd - energy savings through motor system and heat optimisation
New Zealand Post Group – corporate sustainability programme

Transport Award

Air New Zealand – fleet fuel efficiency and carbon reduction
Biodiesel New Zealand Ltd – development of ‘Biogold’ biofuel and market
New Zealand Post Group – corporate sustainability / carbon reduction programme

Community Award

Autex Industries Ltd – Warm Up Foxton project
Greater Wellington Regional Council – Warm Greater Wellington scheme
Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust – Tūwharetoa special insulation project

Renewable Energy Award

Golden Bay Cement – fuel-switching to waste-derived bioenergy
Lake District Health Board – Taupo Hospital conversion from coal heating to geothermal
Talla Burn Generation Ltd – family-run hydro generation scheme

Public Sector Award

Kapiti Coast District Council – energy saving and renewable energy projects
New Plymouth District Council – energy management programme
New Zealand Defence Force / Nature’s Flame – conversion of Waiouru base boiler from coal to wood pellets
New Zealand Post Group - corporate sustainability / carbon reduction programme

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