Coca-Cola’s bottling partner in the Bahamas, Caribbean Bottling Company, has announced investment of $1.8 million in a solar installation at its factory in Nassau.
The company has predicted that the panels will lower its overall energy bill by 30%, the equivalent of between $250,000 and $300,000 a year. With that level of saving, the panels will essentially pay for themselves within seven years of being installed.
According to the Bahamas’ Tribune newspaper, work on the panels will begin this month on a portion of the bottler’s 92,000-square-foot roof, in the south east of the capital.
“We’ve paid a deposit for the equipment and it is now being shipped,” Caribbean Bottling Company chief executive Walter Wells was quoted as saying by the Tribune. “I’m told it is on the way to us now, and I expect them to start installing it on our building later this month.
“We hope to complete it before the end of this year. It should hopefully generate between 25-30% of our requirements. It pays for itself in around six-seven years, and has a life expectancy of between 20-25 years. It will also reduce our carbon footprint – all those good things.”
The panels will generate more than 1,100kW of energy, helping to save almost 25,000 tons of CO2 over the full 25-year life of the installation.
The investment has been helped by a $1 million loan from the Inter-American Investment Corporation.
It’s part of a range of measures undertaken by Coca-Cola bottlers worldwide to reduce the soft drinks company’s CO2 emissions and increase the proportion of energy used in its manufacturing operations from renewable sources.
In May, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) started sourcing all of the electricity needed for its UK operations from renewable sources.
By making the switch, the bottler claimed it was demonstrating its commitment to sustainable manufacturing across the whole of its UK operations.
The solar farm covers eight hectares and will produce up to 5mW of energy at full capacity. In 2014, a £1 million combined heat and power system was also launched at CCEP’s Wakefield site, helping to save 1,500 tons of 2 a year across the factory’s operations.
Coca-Cola Femsa had already invested in a sustainable plant in Brazil, which combined technologies for energy efficiency, water treatment and solar power generation.
The factory came complete with a system for the harvesting of rainwater, and was the result of more than $250 million’s worth of investment.
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