Total Utilities Leads Groundbreaking First in Renewable Energy Procurement With Iconic Kiwi Brand

17 May 2024

Total Utilities has taken a pioneering step towards fostering sustainable energy by spearheading the landmark collaboration between Manawa Energy and Southern Spars, an iconic New Zealand company known for its cutting-edge marine spars and rigging.

The project primarily revolved around Total Utilities managing Southern Spars electricity Request for Proposal (RFP) while working in tandem with the selected energy provider, Manawa Energy.

While Southern Spars has been a longstanding procurement client of Total Utilities, this particular energy review was unique as it marked a departure from traditional services and encompassed additional negotiation concerning New Zealand Energy Certificates (NZ-ECs, formally known as renewable energy certificates or RECs).

With a strong sustainability focus, Manawa Energy aimed to complement Southern Spars’ electricity supply with NZ-ECs, presenting an exciting opportunity for Southern Spars to become the inaugural client of Manawa Energy’s Energy Certificate program.

NZ-ECs are tradable certificates, tracking and authenticating the production and consumption of renewable energy. They enable businesses or individuals to reduce the reported carbon emissions associated with their electricity consumption, and support bringing new renewable energy production online, without the need to consume it directly at source.

BraveTrace, which operates the NZECS (New Zealand Energy Certificate System), validates that the electricity consumed by Southern Spars is accurately matched and verified against the renewable electricity produced by Manawa Energy.

Bridging the Gap: Total Utilities’ Innovative Solutions

However, a challenge emerged for Manawa Energy: their equipment required certification before providing NZ-ECs to Southern Spars, while Southern Spars’ current electricity contract was nearing its end. Total Utilities was able to step in to bridge this supply gap by providing third party NZ-ECs until Manawa Energy was able to assume full supply.

“As an early participant in BraveTrace’s (previously Certified Energy) NZ Energy Certificate System, Total Utilities can act as an independent NZ-EC broker,” explained Total Utilities’ Manager Director, Jonathan Gardiner.

“Total Utilities facilitated NZ-EC transactions, ensuring uninterrupted energy supply while accommodating timing constraints. Our bridging contracts provided a temporary solution, enabling Southern Spars to transition smoothly to renewable energy procurement from the commencement of the new contract,” he added.

BraveTrace’s new CEO, Shaun Goldsbury, enthusiastically celebrates this major collaboration, “Manawa Energy is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest renewable energy generators and we are delighted to welcome them to the BraveTrace network.

“We are particularly proud of our longstanding relationship with Total Utilities and the exceptional support they have provided to Southern Spars in advancing sustainability practices in the sailing world.”

Through careful coordination, Total Utilities managed the NZ-EC exchange between Manawa Energy and Southern Spars, ensuring the partnership progressed seamlessly.

Manawa Energy has since registered the Kaimai hydroelectric power scheme as a production device and was able to meet Southern Spars’ needs for the 2024 production year.

The Kaimai scheme is significant in Manawa Energy’s generation portfolio as it not only provides renewable electricity to the Bay of Plenty, but also opens up a superb, accessible recreation area popular for fishing, kayaking, picnicking and running.

Water is released through the Lake McLaren Dam up to 26 days a year, providing high flows for white water kayakers from the Kaimai Canoe Club, and local white water rafting businesses.

Navigating complex utility landscapes

“This partnership underscores our dedication to sustainability and innovation,” emphasised Jonathan. “We’re committed to overcoming obstacles and driving progress in utility management.”

It was a great project to work on, and we thoroughly enjoyed the problem-solving discussions with George Anyon at Southern Spars and Glenn Webley at Manawa Energy. “All three parties had to think creatively and flexibly to get the job done,” he added.

Total Utilities’ successful collaboration underscores its ability to navigate complex utility management landscapes. As the industry evolves, it remains at the forefront, leading the charge toward a more sustainable future.


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