A Victoria-based producer of cleaning and personal care products, Nature’s Organics, has installed a massive 1.29MW rooftop solar system on its manufacturing plant in Melbourne’s south-east, as a first step towards generating 24/7 renewable power.
The roughly $3 million, 1299kW roof mounted solar system was designed and installed by Melbourne-based outfit, Sun Connect – with more than 5,000 panels covering 17,000sqm of the factory roof space at the company’s Ferntree Gully building.
It is expected to produce around 1800MWh a year, and Nature’s Organics says the next step will be to install battery storage at the site, to “fuel the 24/7 operation,” as well as further solar projects at other company facilities.
At its size, Nature’s Organics claims the Melbourne install is Australia’s “largest privately owned roof-mounted solar system” – and considering it was first commissioned back in 2015, it may well have been at that point in time.
Now however, systems of this size are becoming more and more common, as Australian businesses look to source sustainable and more predictably priced energy.
Sydney Markets, for example, recently added a 2.2MW array, to take its total rooftop solar capacity to more than 3MW – and has plans to go bigger.
And processed and deli meats manufacturer, Primo Smallgoods, this month revealed plans to install what will be one of Australia’s largest commercial solar systems – a 3.2MW rooftop array at its Wacol plant in Brisbane.
“We started this project in 2015 so are thrilled to have the system up and running,” said Nature’s Organics managing director, Justin Dowel, in comments on Tuesday.
“(We are) committed to leading a company that ignites change within the industry and is seen as a pioneer and leader in the eco space,” he said.
“We are passionate about reducing our impact on the planet and as a team are driven to find innovative ways to do this. We are proud to be leaders and early adaptors in our industry of solar panel technology and hope that other businesses will follow suit.”
Sun Connect managing director, Mark Tuke, said that the project’s scale had presented some challenges to meet the Distribution Network Service Providers requirements and ensure the project was connected to the grid.
“The size of project meant there were nuances in meeting certain requirements, but we adapted quickly to achieve a fantastic result for our client.”