By YHA New Zealand
Franz Josef – YHA Franz Josef put their commitment to sustainability into action with the installation of solar panels on their West Coast property.

YHA Franz Josef undertook a major environmental and long-term investment with project partner Sunshine Solar by installing 108 metres of solar panels on the Franz Josef hostel roof to generate power and to heat the hostel’s water.

YHA New Zealand Manager, Operations, Simon Cartwright, says, “Using innovative technology to provide a steady supply of clean and renewable energy fits into YHA Franz Josef’s long-term plan. It also continues YHA New Zealand’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible tourism, which is increasingly important to our guests and staff.”

Sunshine Solar’s goal is to help the hostel reduce CO emissions by 5.5 tonnes per year, power usage by 6% and gas usage for heating water by 20%. On an average day, the photovoltaic solar panels will generate 125 kilowatts directly from the sun.

Sunshine Solar Operations Manager, Matt Finlay, said they were thrilled to partner with YHA New Zealand at the Franz Josef property. He says, “This is one of the largest solar systems to be installed on the West Coast, and certainly the largest in Franz Josef. We were excited to be part of that and to meet, and possibly exceed, YHA New Zealand’s expectations.”

Mitsubishi Electric Black Diamond Solar PV Panels were selected for this project. Designed to specifically withstand extreme weather conditions, these premium panels are ideal for the rugged environment that surrounds YHA Franz Josef.

Sunshine Solar will install a Splash Monitoring System in the guest lounge in April. This system will allow guests to observe, and staff to monitor and control, the use of resources across the hostel. The system provides real time temperatures, weather data, system operation and heat collected through the solar panels.

YHA Franz Josef offers secure accommodation nestled into West Coast rainforest.

About YHA Franz Josef:

·        Located at 2-4 Cron Street

·        Qualmark five star rated, Enviro Award Silver

·        Private single, twin, double rooms, family rooms and shared dormitories

·        Some rooms have ensuites

·        Free sauna

·        WiFi

·        TV lounge and comfortable open-plan lounge with pool table

·        Fully equipped self-catering kitchen

·        Laundry facilities and drying room

·        Free car parking


About YHA New Zealand

The Youth Hostels Association of New Zealand, (YHA New Zealand) is a not-for-profit association that was established in 1932 in Canterbury. With a network of 45 hostels in both islands, YHA New Zealand provides high quality budget accommodation to New Zealanders and international travellers. YHA New Zealand is a committed advocate of sustainable practices. An example of this was the recent implementation of a geothermal down-bore heat exchanger at YHA Rotorua. For more information please visit:

About Sunshine Solar                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunshine Solar has worked hard to help families, trusts, schools, community organisations and businesses find the best solutions to high power consumption for over a decade. Sunshine Solar keeps pace with this emerging and evolving market while also teaming up with the University of Canterbury and Christchurch Polytechnic to work on desalination and alternative energy solutions for third world communities.

Waipara Riverside Park installed two sunshine solar systems consisting of 150 tubes and 120 tubes on to their buildings which each sleep just over 50 people each. Previously they used Gas and Diesel burner for their hot water needs. Now they are very happy with the Sunshine Solar product and technical support.

Installed by James Taylor and team of Mana Plumbing and Bathrooms.

Solar to 14 units and the manager’s house. An older motel, installed as part of the EECA innovation scheme. Belle Bonne are leasing the systems, based on half their savings. In the last 7 years they have saved $16,800 in electricity, with no up front costs.

The Arthurs Court Motor Lodge installed 2 solar water heating systems on to 11 of their motel units in 2007. This helped them become the first motel in New Zealand to receive both the Qualmark 5 Star and the Enviro Gold rating.

Trentham Army Barracks, Linton Army Barracks, Papakura Army Barracks
Installed as part of a central heating system. The solar provides water for showers and to top up the central heating. Overheat goes to the drying rooms. This was installed as part of the EECA program, through Savona Central Heating.

The Alpine View holiday park in Christchurch installed an 60 tube solar water heater onto one of their bathroom blocks.


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