Eye Surgery Achieves Energy Independence

In the fight against climate change, businesses all over the world are adopting cleaner, more sustainable practices. In 2023, SMA Australia was honoured to work alongside one of these eco-conscious businesses, helping The Eye Surgery Hastings transition to 100% renewable energy for their New Zealand clinic.

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainability, The Eye Surgery Hastings no longer relies on grid connection for their energy. The decision not only aligns with the business’s commitment to sustainability but is also a strategic decision to ensure resilience in the face of adversity.

Weathering the storm: A shift towards sustainability

The catalyst for The Eye Surgery Hastings’ remarkable shift was the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, a natural disaster that left some New Zealand households without power for up to 21 days. Throughout this time, The Eye Surgery Hastings recognised the vulnerabilities in the existing energy infrastructure and saw renewable energy as the key to securing its operations.

The clinic’s owner, Dr. Alex Buller says the cyclone served as a wake-up call that fueled their determination to embrace clean energy solutions.

“Cyclone Gabrielle underscored the urgent necessity for investment in decentralised energy, and we recognised the critical role renewable energy could play in safeguarding our operations. This disaster fuelled our transition to clean energy, ensuring the reliability and sustainability of our facility even in the face of such adversity.”

The Eye Surgery Hastings Installs for Financial Efficiency and Environmental Responsibility

Implementing cutting-edge technology

In collaboration with SMA Australia and Ecoefficient Solutions, The Eye Surgery Hastings installed a state-of-the-art 50kWh solar panel photovoltaic (PV) system, accompanied by a robust 43kWh Lithium-Ion battery storage solution. This cutting-edge technology not only ensures a constant and reliable energy supply but also positions the facility as a leader in the healthcare sector’s sustainable practices.

The transition to clean energy has resulted in significant savings on electricity bills for The Eye Surgery Hastings. The reduced operational expenses have allowed the facility to allocate resources towards improving patient care, making healthcare services more cost-effective for both the facility and its patients. The change also provides peace of mind knowing that the facility’s services are safe from grid power outages, creating a more reliable system for both patients and doctors.

Powering the community: The Te Rehe solar network

The Eye Surgery Hastings has gone above and beyond with their sustainability efforts. The clinic operates on 100% renewable energy and power-shares excess energy generated on-site with New Zealand’s first peer-to-peer solar local network: the Te Rehe solar network. This initiative contributes to the broader community and exemplifies The Eye Surgery

Hastings’ commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen who truly cares for the environment and its wider community. The Eye Surgery Hastings has also embraced innovative approaches to conducting business, such as shifting energy-intensive applications to daytime hours. This not only makes them cost-free but also contributes to the facility’s commitment to zero-emission operations. As a result of this incredible team effort between The Eye Surgery Hastings, SMA Australia, and Ecoefficient Solutions, the facility has been named the Health Care Climate Champion for the Pacific region by Global Green and Healthy Hospitals.

Patrick Duignan, Vice-President Home Commercial & Industrial at SMA Australia, commended the transition that The Eye Surgery Hastings has taken to benefit the environment, their facility, and the wider community.

“The Eye Surgery Hastings began its journey to a carbon-neutral, decentralised system with an SMA PV system with the Sunny Tripower CORE1 inverter 18 months ago, before expanding the system to also integrate battery storage and better meet its requirements by installing Sunny Island battery inverters and a battery,” said Mr Duignan.

“This ability to seamlessly adapt solar technology to suit a business’s growing needs is an example of another benefit of switching to renewable energy systems, in addition to the incredible environmental and economic advantages.”

Envisioning a sustainable future

With an increasing number of businesses making the shift to clean energy, SMA Australia remains more committed than ever to helping businesses transition to renewable energy solutions. The Eye Surgery Hastings’ transition to 100% renewable energy stands as a beacon of inspiration for businesses globally. In making such a powerful shift, the facility has not only future-proofed the practice but has also set a new standard for sustainable operations in the healthcare sector. As we applaud this achievement and hope it acts as a catalyst for more businesses to embrace clean energy and contribute to a cleaner, more resilient future for us all.


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