Emrod x Powerco: NZ’s most exciting power start-up and NZ’s second largest electricity distribution company join forces

Auckland city

How did a small start-up end up partnering with New Zealand’s second largest electricity distribution company, Powerco? And, what exciting things are we working on together?

Here’s the story of a shared passion to innovate and how NZ’s not-too-distant future looks bright, and filled with a lot more ingenuity.

Love at first prototype

In 2019, after 18 months of hard work, the Emrod team had finished creating the first prototype for wirelessly transmitted energy (learn more about our technology here). With it complete and ready to showcase, selected VIPs within the industry were invited to be the first to see the new technology. Among the attendees was Powerco, the second-largest electricity distributor in New Zealand.

Seeing the potential Emrod’s technology held for innovating on their network, a partnership was struck.

Shaking up an industry

Nowadays it’s a given that power arrives to your home or business via overhead lines or underground cables. While these work in most instances, they certainly aren’t the perfect solution, with outages, maintenance and high costs. 

Powerco has partnered with Emrod to fund a lab-based trial. They’re keen to see whether the technology can deliver efficiencies to the way power is delivered to some customers – such as those in remote or challenging areas.

Emrod’s wireless electricity technology has the potential to shake up traditional forms of power distribution, and do so with a lower environmental impact and lower costs. Wireless power transmission means wind farms become more economically viable, and the natural environment is no longer disrupted to lay expensive cables. No wires also means reduced outages, secure electricity continuity to small communities and farms, and reliable back-up systems.

The next prototype

The previous prototype, as well as the current one, are created from scratch at Emrod’s facility in Auckland.  As the systems get larger and more sophisticated, it actually takes less time to complete due to building on previous research and experience. The latest system transmits over a 20 times longer distance than the previous prototype but it has only taken a fraction of the time to build. The next prototype for Powerco will be ready in the coming months.

What does a cableless future for NZ look like?

It could be supplying electricity to hard to reach places and rugged terrains like Auckland’s Piha. It might be powering islands like Waiheke without an underwater cable. Or it may be sending energy wirelessly across the Cook Strait. Watch this space, the technology is here and the sky truly is the limit.