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Harbour bridge to light up in world first

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/05/2017

Auckland Harbour Bridge will soon be permanently lit up with officials claiming a world-first for a bridge having all its lights solar-powered.

More than 630 solar panels will be installed close to the Waitemata Harbour span, with their energy stored in a 500kW/1MWh utility battery, which has enough storage to power 200 houses for more than two hours.

Nearly 90,000 new LED lights will be installed, capable of lighting up the bridge with shows for special events.

The 58-year-old bridge "will be the first bridge in the world to have all its lighting - operational, structural and special event - able to be powered entirely by solar-stored energy", Auckland Transport and lines company Vector said in a statement on Saturday.

The system will also be able to supply power for the Wynyard Quarter.

"The Harbour Bridge is an icon of Auckland. Lighting it up will make the city at night a more interesting and vibrant sight," said Mayor Phil Goff.

"Powered by solar energy it will also reflect our commitment as a city to energy efficiency, sustainability and low carbon emissions."

The planning and installation of the lights is expected to take several months once planning, consent and New Zealand Transport Agency approval has been obtained.

NZTA says it supports the use of the new technology. It is already replacing existing road lighting with LEDs.

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