McCain Foods has started the construction of a renewable energy system that it claims will reduce CO2 emissions at its Australian facility by more than 27,000 tonnes per year.
The system will be installed at McCain’s food processing facility in Ballarat and reportedly marks Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewable energy system.
As a result of the 8.2mW system, which will utilise a combination of solar and co-generation technology, McCain’s energy consumption in Ballarat will be subsidised by 39%.
The renewable energy system will comprise of a 17,000-panel ground-mounted array, as well as a solar car park and a cogeneration anaerobic digester that will use biogas produced by food waste to generate energy.
This will reportedly reduce the Ballarat site’s reliance on natural gas by 16% and will provide three electric vehicle charging points.
McCain Foods’ regional president of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and China, Louis Wolthers, said the renewable energy system is one example of many initiatives to reduce McCain’s C02 emissions in line with the company’s global sustainability report launch.
“Globally, McCain Foods is committed to reducing our CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030, ceasing any reliance on coal by 2025, and having 100% of our plants powered by renewable electricity by 2030. This project makes a significant contribution to this target,” said Wolthers.
He added: “There has never been a behind-the-meter system this dynamic in Australia, and we believe it will set a precedent for large-scale projects for other major processing businesses.”
The solar system will be funded through a partnership with Smart Commercial Solar under a power purchase agreement, funded by renewable investment fund, Solar Bay.
Huon Hoogesteger at Smart Commercial Solar said: “We pride ourselves on trust and transparency, and delivery of energy solutions that make great financial, social and environmental investments. We’re proud to be involved in this industry-leading project, and we’re looking forward to seeing this become a commercial reality.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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