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Networks for our future

Networks for our Future

Innovation, emerging technology, real-time data, better utilisation – what do these words mean at Unison?

To us, they are the foundation of our Smart Network – the Networks for our Future. Unison’s vision for transforming the way we manage your electricity supply.

To do this, we’ve been researching, sourcing, testing and developing innovative technologies to install on our network, as we transition toward a new way of doing things.

Leading a Sustainable Energy Future

Unison's vision is to lead a sustainable energy future that supports consumers' changing energy needs, while enabling our communities to prosper.

Developing a sustainability strategy that supports the delivery of Unison’s vision has held significant focus for Unison. The strategy is built on insights gained from a range of key stakeholders to ensure it is relevant and effective for Unison and its communities.

Unison has a role to play in helping the country’s transition to a zero carbon future in areas such as transport, industrial heat and housing, whilst also improving affordability and employment. Interest in technologies such as solar, battery and electric vehicles is increasing. People still need energy to power their lives, but how they get that energy and what they use it for is rapidly transforming.

Together with its subsidiaries, the Unison Group is proving to be at the forefront of delivering smart, sustainable solutions that enable people’s energy choices.

Windsor Substation

Find out about Unison's pioneering sustainable substation, the first of its kind in New Zealand


Electrification of Vehicles

Want to learn more about the growth of electric vehicles (EV's) in New Zealand, and globally?

Solar Energy

Be informed about solar energy and installation


Case Studies

How are we enabling our customers to achieve their sustainable energy objectives?

Change Drivers to New Zealand's Electricity System

The electricity system supporting New Zealand’s economy and lifestyle is changing. This change is being shaped by the following key drivers:

Decarbonisation refers to the elimination of carbon-based fuels for electricity generation and, electrification of demand sources that currently utilise carbon-based fuels e.g., transport and process heat. While an increase in renewable energy sources will result in a more sustainable grid, renewable generation can be highly intermittent, making the balancing of energy supply and demand significantly more challenging.

Decentralisation is the reduced reliance on a handful of large generating plants and the disbursement of generation across many smaller units. It also refers to the increasing amount of embedded generation and storage coming online including solar farms, batteries, combined heat, and power sources on business sites and, residential solar panels.

The complex changes occurring in the energy market will require effective network management in real-time. Digitalisation provides the means to achieve this through comprehensive monitoring and control across the entire electricity system from generation to transmission and distribution supply and demand. Digitalisation also provides the foundation for innovation by enabling monitored information to be analysed to identify system efficiency improvement opportunities. While the transformation of the electricity system will support environmental sustainability and improved energy equity, the system will be significantly more complex than it is today. Many of the techniques currently employed to manage the transmission system may become relevant at a distribution level to deal with the hundreds of thousands or millions of nodes.

A smarter, more flexible electricity system

Unison has developed a 'least regrets' Roadmap to chart our development of business and technical capabilities expected to be required in a range of plausible futures.

The work delivered as part of this roadmap is delivering excellent value, including improved safety, efficiency, and network performance

The initiatives on the roadmap are reviewed every two years to ensure it aligns with the current thinking.