A Bay of Plenty marae in Rotorua is avoiding power hikes by becoming self-sustainable and generating their own power through water. Their success has become so popular that other marae are now interested in the idea.
A micro-hydro unit on Pokaitu stream in Horohoro generates enough power for a marae, church and a farm house.
Eugene Berryman-Kamp says, “In increasing demand, it's important to be able to look after your own. So with having our own power source here we generate more power than the marae and iwi owned farm use.”
The micro-hydro unit which, is at the rear of the marae, produces 2.5 kilowatts per hour, saving the marae $4000 a year in power bills.
Eru George says, “In time, we will be increasing the usage in power, so what's being produced now will increase.”
According to Eugene Berryman-Kamp, a number of iwi have contacted them in regards to this project, however the amount of work required is not an overnight job.
Berryman-Kamp says, “To do this sort of thing you need engineering reports, you need water flow testing. Obviously there's the turbines units themselves, you need to know how those work.”
But if you are serious about self-sustainability and renewable energy the benefits for marae are huge.