Consumers Powered by Sunshine

Winter sunset over the Kohi Point Kiwi sanctuary.

The challenge of depending on sunshine as an energy source is managing its intermittency.

Welcome to the “Ohope Community – Solar Powered” forum!

A sustainable planet depends on mankind electrifying everything using renewable energy sources.
Wind and Solar are currently the cheapest methods of generating electricity.
Join us in exploring how a small New Zealand community blessed with sunshine (but not wind) can benefit from electrification.

Our goal is to demonstrate how a seaside community of 2000 residents (consumers) can use smart technology to reduce electricity costs, be sustainable, and be energy resilient. Using a community solar farm, rooftop solar to generate electricity and smart technology to manage consumption to avoid expensive peak rates.

Consider forming a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Participate in Demand Response (DR) initiatives to remove peaks and balance the grid. As a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) be available to stabilise the wider grid.


  • Inclusive Discussions: We welcome input from residents with or without rooftop solar PV to engage in open discussions, share ideas, and explore solutions to maximize the benefits of solar energy in our community. Learn how community solar farms and demand response initiatives can achieve our goals. 
  • Informative Resources: Access a wide range of resources, including articles, case studies, and practical examples, to enhance your understanding of community solar farms, demand response, and the role of distributed energy resources. Stay informed about the latest advancements and opportunities for active participation. 
  • Project Collaboration: Collaborate with community members, renewable energy experts, and project developers to establish community solar farms. Discover the benefit of Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) to manage our household electrical devices and use them to support our neighbours. Discuss the feasibility, financing models, and technical aspects involved, ensuring that all residents can contribute and benefit from shared solar resources. 
  • Demand Response Engagement: Learn about Demand Response (DR).  How your electrical devices, hot water cylinders, electric vehicles, and heat pumps, can play a role in optimizing energy consumption and support grid stability. Explore ways to actively participate and contribute to our distributed energy resource mix. 
  • Lines Company Collaboration: Engage with Horizon Energy to use our Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to keep our low-voltage grid stable.
  • Advocacy and Education: Advocate for regulations policies and incentives that promote community solar initiatives, energy tracing and demand response programs. Educate our community and beyond about the potential of real-time pricing of transmission and electricity, inspiring others to join our efforts and create a sustainable future.
  • Decide whether or not to integrate the above and proceed to a Community Energy Project. Plan, Build, Operate, Maintain and Market a VPP.
Recent Posts


TLAThree-Letter Acronyms

Electricity industry documentation is littered with them. Designed to confuse consumers?

DER – Distributed Energy Resource

The old centralised electrical generation system is transitioning to a nationwide network of smaller distributed sources of generation and load. Similar to the Internet, designed to self-heal in disruptive events. Smart loads (hot water cylinders) can turn off and batteries can instantaneously inject electricity to prevent the lights going out when a hydro turbine gets blocked with weed.

HEMS – Home Energy Management System

An Edge Computer inside the meter, autonomously controlling household electrical devices. If the grid has too much solar energy it can turn the smart hot water thermostat on to sponge up excess, at a low price.

VPP – Virtual Power Plant

Residents with HEMS aggregated together autonomously responding to price signals to buy (low) or sell (high) to balance local supply with demand.

DR – Demand Response

Electrical devices (hot water cylinder, EV, airconditioner…) autonomously responding to HEMS signals to turn on/off or up/down.

TPM – Transmission Pricing Methodology

The explanations offered by the monopoly poles and wires companies to justify their pricing structures. Originators of TLA linguistics?

CAC – Consumer Advisory Council

Presently led by Deborah Hart who is not afraid to deliver serves on behalf of consumers to recalcitrant industry players.