Australian health supplement and cosmetics maker Homart Pharmaceuticals has installed a rooftop solar PV system at its Rydalmere, NSW, manufacturing facility – a move that is expected to save the company up to $23,000 a year.
The 100kW solar system was designed and installed by Bollson Energy and uses SolarMax grid connected inverters and remote monitoring platform, which provides real-time performance data on input and output voltages, input and output currents, frequency, device temperature and yield.
The PV system will generate an average of 140MWh of solar power annually, reducing the growing company’s reliance on the grid – Homart says its electricity bills tripled after opening the bigger Rydalmere factory in October 2012 – and is expected to cut the company’s carbon emissions by 144.2 tonnes a year and deliver an internal rate of return (IRR) of 26 per cent per annum.
Homart managing director Jeffrey Yeh says the PV system has already reduced the company’s electricity bills by up to 25 per cent a month, after only two months’ in operation.
And according to Wayne Xiong, chief operating officer at Bollson Energy, Homart’s shift to solar is part of a growing commercial trend, led by the likes of IKEA Australia.
“We have seen a significant interest from businesses taking to solar having experienced bill shock from rising electricity prices,” Xiong said. “(Homart) is a great example of a business who were looking to reduce their operating costs and they were confident about the benefits of solar both for their bottom line and to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Local councils are also jumping on to the commercial solar bandwagon, installing PV on the rooftops of council buildings in a bid to cut their exposure to power prices. Recent examples include NSW Hornsby Shire, which last week issued tenders to expand the existing PV system on Hornsby Library from 20kW to 100kW and to install a “suitably sized” PV system at Epping Library.
Last year, the Camden Council, also in New South Wales, installed a 97kW solar PV system on the roof of its Narellan library, comprised of 70 Trina 250W solar modules. The system is expected to generate over 120,000kWh a year, making a significant contribution to the reducing the CO2 emissions as well as the running costs of the library.