Solar powered factories: Industrial energy costs targeted in Victoria finance scheme

A plastics manufacturer in Victoria is set to save up to $100,000 a year on electricity bills after installing a 365kW rooftop solar system using Environmental Upgrade Finance, offered through scheme supported by the state Labor government.

Through the Sustainable Melbourne Fund, the scheme offers the finance as part of the Boosting Business Productivity grants program, to help businesses in the state reduce their energy costs.
As part of the program, an additional $630,000 has also been allocated in the 2017/18 Victorian Budget for new grants to improve business materials efficiency, cut waste to landfill, as well as reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Using the scheme, Class Plastics in Truganina, Victoria, has installed 1,460 solar panels, which will generate 365kW to power its manufacturing facility (see the factory’s summer generation profile below).

Source: Beon Energy Solutions

And the benefits of the scheme extend to the local clean energy industry, too. According to the system installer, Beon Energy Solutions, the idea of using an EUA to finance the solar installation was a key part of Beon’s proposal to Class in October 2016.
“(Beon) presented us with all of the options and helped us identify the most cost effective and efficient system for our business,” said Class CEO Daniel Carapellotti. “They also brought us the EUA opportunity to finance the installation. Beon made investing in solar a simple and positive process.”
The manufacturer has also installed low wattage lighting, electric forklifts, scrap recycling, water storage tanks and low-consumption manufacturing technologies.
Visiting the factory last week to view the solar install, state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) market in Victoria was growing, with 11 Councils already offering EUAs across Victoria, and 16 projects having received funding of over $14 million.
“We know that increasing energy costs are affecting Victorian businesses, and we are working closely with them to deliver more affordable, sustainable and reliable energy,” D’Ambrosio said.
“This Government backed initiative will give businesses greater accessibility to the financing which funds energy efficiency programs and reduces energy costs.”
Scott Bocskay, the CEO of Sustainable Melbourne Fund, said his team looked forward to working with the government to help Victorian businesses make the investments required to reduce and manage their energy costs.
“Whether your business is a farm or a manufacturer, Environmental Upgrade Finance will become available to your business as a tool to help boost your business’s productivity.”
For more information and to apply for a grant, visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au

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