Sun powers Primo site
Ipswich business builds nation’s largest single-rooftop solar grid
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.
POWERING: CleanPeak Energy’s Philip Graham, Todae Solar’s Harry Wimberley and Aris Hovardas, Bruce Sabatta from Primo and JBS CEO Brent Eastwood.