McCain unveils Australia’s largest renewable energy system

Sustainable energy

McCain Foods Australia has announced it has commenced construction on a renewable energy system. The solar power and biogas will reduce emissions from its Ballarat food processing facility by more than 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The project, which will house Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewable energy system, will subsidise McCain’s energy consumption in Ballarat by 39 per cent.

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

Biogas and solar

The new system comprises a 17,000 panel ground mount and carpark solar array. As well as 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 per cent, and energy consumed from the grid by 39 per cent.

The solar power, which will be generated from unused flat space on existing land surrounding the plant, will also provide three electric charging ports and shaded car spaces.

50 percent reduction

McCain Foods’ Regional President Louis Wolthers, said the renewable energy system is one example of many initiatives to reduce McCain’s Co2 emissions. In line with the business’s global Be Good. Do Good. Sustainability Report launch.

“Globally, McCain Foods is committed to reducing our CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Ceasing any reliance on coal by 2025, and having 100 per cent of our plants powered by renewable electricity by 2030. This project makes a significant contribution to this target,” Mr Wolthers said.

“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.”

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