Sun pow­ers Primo site

Ip­swich busi­ness builds na­tion’s largest sin­gle-rooftop so­lar grid

The Queensland Times - - News - HAY­DEN JOHN­SON hay­den.john­son@qt.com.au

IN AUS­TRALIA’S largest sin­gle rooftop so­lar project, thou­sands of pan­els gen­er­at­ing enough elec­tric­ity to power 20,000 homes will be in­stalled at a Wa­col busi­ness.

JBS Aus­tralia has made the “sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment” to in­stall 9700 pan­els on the roof of its Primo Small­go­ods fac­tory.

The sys­tem will gen­er­ate 4869 megawatt hours of power in its first year and over 20, save 1.2 mil­lion tonnes of car­bon – enough to power 20,032 homes for one year.

To­dae So­lar has been cho­sen to in­stall the largest sin­glerooftop so­lar in­stal­la­tion in Aus­tralia, which is de­signed to have a life­span for 25 years.

After two years of plan­ning, the sys­tem is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional within four months.

Glob­ally, JBS’ goal is to re­duce its en­ergy con­sump­tion by 12 per cent.

JBS chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Brent East­wood said the in­stal­la­tion would ben­e­fit the com­pany and en­vi­ron­ment.

“We’ve got a strong com­mit­ment to the re­sources of this coun­try, to re­duc­ing waste pol­lu­tion and bet­ter use the nat­u­ral re­sources,” he said.

“Util­i­ties cost in this coun­try is off the Richter scale.

“All util­i­ties are go­ing up, it’s a power sav­ing and cost-sav­ing ven­ture but it’s a sus­tain­abil­ity to not waste nat­u­ral re­sources.”

Mr East­wood said the com­pany had other en­ergy-sav­ing mea­sures at its feed­lots and pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing green­house gas re­duc­tion, bio­gas re­cov­ery and waste re­cy­cling.

To­dae So­lar sales gen­eral man­ager Aris Ho­var­das said the JBS, Primo in­stal­la­tion sig­nalled the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of so­lar en­ergy.

“What we’re see­ing with Primo is there is a move­ment right now in re­la­tion to cor­po­rate Aus­tralia mov­ing into so­lar,” he said.

“The so­lar mar­ket in Aus­tralia is do­ing two-fold and three­fold growth num­bers.

“It is com­mer­cial so­lar in the mar­ket place that didn’t re­ally have a place years ago.”

Primo Small­go­ods chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Bruce Sa­batta said the com­pany wanted to invest in its fu­ture.

“We’re a very big player in the food in­dus­try and a lot of com­pa­nies have moved to­wards so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” he said.

“It’s about our pur­pose and our brand and we need to look at those so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

The 9700 pan­els will cover about 75 per cent of the mam­moth roof on Primo’s Wa­col fac­tory.

When in­stal­la­tion is fin­ished, the so­lar pan­els will lower the com­pany’s reliance on the en­ergy grid, low­er­ing costs and emis­sions.

Photo: Rob Wil­liams

POW­ER­ING: CleanPeak En­ergy’s Philip Gra­ham, To­dae So­lar’s Harry Wim­ber­ley and Aris Ho­var­das, Bruce Sa­batta from Primo and JBS CEO Brent East­wood.

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