Christchurch: A Silicon Valley in the making

Apr 04, 2016

Christchurch: A Silicon Valley in the making

By Nathan Dunn

People tend to associate New Zealand with the All Blacks, Maori culture, and thanks to the creative air safety videos produced by Air New Zealand - Lord of the Rings. But what has been somewhat of a secret until now is how Christchurch is quietly becoming a global mecca in high technology.

Thanks to world-renowned power electronics program at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch is home to a particularly high concentration of engineers who are perfectly skilled for high technology companies such as Enphase.

In 2011, Enphase planted a seed in Christchurch, hiring nine former engineers from Eaton and laying the foundation with our first employees in the region. We now have a team of 32 engineers working in Christchurch, who are working with our Petaluma engineers to develop current and future generations of the Enphase Home Energy Solution. Enphase New Zealand has played a critical role in the development of our fourth, fifth and our soon to be launched sixth generation of microinverters.

We recently held an official launch event to open our new Research and Development facility in Christchurch, our largest engineering facility outside of Petaluma, California. Enphase had the pleasure of sharing this special occasion with the Hon. Steven Joyce MP, Minister of Science and Innovation, who officially opened our facility. Also attending were Gareth Hughes MP, Green Party of New Zealand, Dr. Megan Woods, MP for Wigram, along with 80 other industry partners and employees.

Enphase opened the doors to our R&D facility giving tours to our guests who had a glimpse of what took place behind the scenes in the design, development and testing capabilities the company uses for producing its innovative, high-quality products. This facility is part of our USD$4.4 million investment in New Zealand, and it will lay the foundation for many exciting developments ahead.

With global demand for home energy systems expected to grow, the opening of our new R&D facility sets a new association for how we would like the world to think about New Zealand -- as a leader in power electronics and energy technology. This facility and our engineers have all the ingredients it takes for a great air safety video that you might see when you fly on Air New Zealand one day.

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