Sun lover: The large-scale solar system installed at the South East Queensland feedlot has ensured lower power bills and increased energy certainty.

Sun lover: The large-scale solar system installed at the South East Queensland feedlot has ensured lower power bills and increased energy certainty.

Solar sheds power costs, saves on emissions and boosts cashflow on feedlot

Solar sheds power costs, saves on emissions and boosts cashflow on feedlot

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Advertiser content: A large-scale solar power system installed at Queensland feedlot is generating $40,000 in annual savings for the business.

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This is advertiser content for Planet Ark Power.

One of Queensland's largest feedlots is benefiting from the savings following the installation of a major solar power system at the site.

The McNamee Partners combined feedlot and dairy operation in South East Queensland now has a 259.20 kW system with 960 solar panels covering the roof of the facility.

Producing up to 1300 kW a day, the system generates in excess of 45 per cent of the operations' electricity needs and will save around $40,000 a year for the business.

The environmental case is also a positive one - over 25 years the system will save 6,784 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 2,825 cars off the road for a year.

Reducing grid demand

Like many agribusinesses, the family-run operation was feeling the pressure from its high energy bills. Electricity was the business's largest operating cost after wages, and was continuing to rise.

The owners began investigating how they could reduce energy costs and protect the business from the threat of further large increases in the future.

They worked with award-winning renewable energy engineering company Planet Ark Power, a sister business to the environmental organisation Planet Ark, to develop the best solution in its goal to reduce its grid energy demand with the adoption of solar.

Sustainable future: McNamee Partners set out to reduce their reliance on electricity from the grid.

The system came with little cost to the business. It was completed with a no up front payment lease whereby the savings on energy costs, less the lease payment, made it cash flow positive from day one.

Under the lease arrangement, McNamee Partners will take full ownership after seven years, and then enjoy essentially free energy from the sun for the next 25 years.

Tailored to the business

Once McNamee Partners engaged Planet Ark Power - which is focused on developing mid- to-large scale solar solutions for the commercial, agricultural and industrial sectors - the system was up and running swiftly.

Planet Ark Power's national business development manager Tom McVerry coordinated all aspects of the project from initiation to installation.

"Every site is unique and requires a tailored solution," he said. "It's not just a blanket approach."

Planet Ark Power begins by analysing a business's energy consumption history and patterns measured at half hour intervals to develop a detailed energy use profile.

"We generated an energy consumption profile report which showed that the business had one large peak in energy use early in the morning and another peak late in the afternoon," Mr McVerry said.

"The business also has a large and consistent 24 hour base load - grain is mixed, milk is refrigerated, silos must remain operational and so on."

After also conducting an engineering feasibility study, Planet Ark Power creates a solution for the business based on the energy consumption patterns and the different variables of the site including layout and roof orientation, and network restrictions.

Once installed and operational, Planet Ark Power regularly monitors and reports the system's performance, identifying and promptly fixing any irregularities. The system is always optimised for best financial return.

Agribusinesses setting the pace

Mr McVerry said the agricultural industry was leading the way in action on finding sustainable energy solutions.

"The agricultural industry is progressive in trying to offset energy costs and looking at innovative technologies to address inefficiencies," he said.

"Partnering with Planet Ark Power allows for opportunities to upgrade your solar system with world-leading technology recognised by the World Energy Council at the Startup Energy Transition (SET) Awards 2019 in Berlin.

"Reducing energy costs allows businesses to remain competitive. Beyond simply financial benefits, there are great environmental and sustainability benefits, and this is driving agribusinesses to adopt solar as well."

Partner for a sustainable future with solar

Planet Ark Power offers a free, no-obligation, commercial energy analysis report. Usually valued at $7000, this report can help identify any inefficiencies or overspending and suggest the right energy solution to match the needs of a business. Request your free energy report here.

This is advertiser content for Planet Ark Power.

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