McCain Foods making moves with renewable energy system

McCain Foods Australia is making strides in sustainability, with the commencement of its renewable energy system that has begun construction. The new system will reduce emissions from its Ballarat food processing facility by more than 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The project announced today, will house Australia’s largest ‘behind-the-meter’ renewable energy system, and will subsidise McCain’s energy consumption in Ballarat by 39%.

“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,” explains McCain Foods Regional President Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India & China, Louis Wolthers.

The 8.2 megawatt (MW) system plans to utilise a combination of solar and co-generation technology, with the solar system funded through a partnership with Smart Commercial Solar Pty LTD under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), funded by renewable investment fund, Solar Bay.

More details on the system

The new system comprises a 17,000 panel ground mount and carpark solar array, and a co-generation anaerobic digester that utilises biogas produced by food waste to generate energy.

Together, the two systems will reduce the site’s reliance on natural gas by 16% and energy consumed from the grid by 39%.

“There has never been a behind-the-meter system this dynamic in Australia,” continues Mr Wolthers.

“… and we believe it will set a precedent for large-scale projects for other major processing businesses.”

Huon Hoogesteger at Smart Commercial Solar Pty Ltd touches on the excitement the team has for this partnership: “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.”

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