Solar shot for new Queenstown commercial development

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Lake Hayes Estate’s first commercial development has an environmental bent. 

The Deavoll Construction built and developed site will sport a grocer, small bar and a cafe-restaurant, all of which will hopefully be opened in early December. 

An eye-catching feature is the 9.2-kilowatt solar photo-voltaic system installed on the roof by Cromwell-based Infinite Energy. 

It’s the year-old company’s first commercial job in the Wakatipu. 

“I think it makes a heck of a lot of sense,” lessee Hamish MacPherson says, “to take advantage of those high sunshine hours even in the middle of winter. 

“Electricity prices are only going to go up.” 

Infinite Energy general manager Regan Heal says the array of Chinese-made Himin panels is about three times the size of an average residential installation. 

The average New Zealand house uses 8000kW hours of electricity a year – this Lake Hayes Estate installation will generate an estimated 13,230 kWh in the first year. 

MacPherson, a Southland dairy farmer who has two Auckland pubs, has taken the lease with wife Jana. 

He says: “Some people have left Lake Hayes Estate because there’s no hospitality offering but now that may change.” 

The internal fit-out hasn’t started, but potential chefs have been shortlisted for the cafe-restaurant – which will make its own ice cream and artisan bread – and a general manager’s job should soon be advertised. 

MacPherson says: “We’re trying to create three different distinct environments for a family member to have three different reasons to come and visit the site at three different times during the day.” 

Building developer Sam Deavoll says: “We hope for the building to be the hub of the community. The new operators will do a great job  … their plans for the interior fit-out and courtyard are really exciting.”