As the world’s largest processor of macadamias, the Macadamia Processing Company has recently switched on a 600kW solar system, designed and installed by Todae Solar.
The task of processing between 10-13,000 metric tonnes of macadamias annually is no mean feat, and requires enormous amounts of electricity to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality.
In an effort to reduce costs and lessen its environmental impact, the Macadamia Processing Company (MPC), based in northern NSW, contracted Todae Solar to install a sophisticated rooftop solar system.
With Australia’s energy costs among the highest around the world, companies operating here are already disadvantaged compared to overseas competitors. However, the lower energy costs MPC now benefits from will pay dividends, allowing it more freedom to operate and compete on a global scale.
The Macadamia Processing Company has been a key business in the Lismore region since its establishment in 1983, when a group of four macadamia growers took control of the production and marketing of their produce. Their collective innovation has led to an industry leading company committed to long term sustainability and producing macadamias of the highest quality.
As part of their Strategic Investment Plan, the 600kW solar system will generate approximately 934,000kWh annually, enough electricity to power almost 80 homes a year.
MPC’s General Manager, Steven Lee, explains that “the equipment’s got an effective operating life in excess of 20 years, so we’re looking forward to making savings for the life of that project and some pretty significant reduction in energy consumption”.
“We’re generating a peak of around 400 to 450 kilowatts, depending on how bright the day is and where the sun is.
“It’s pretty close to supplying all of our energy use during the day, so yes if we’ve got a nice bright sunny day then we’re almost operating free of charge – thanks to the sun”
Looking to invest in other renewable energy saving technologies, MPC is also investigating the viability of burning old macadamia shells to generate thermal energy.
The investment in solar has allowed them to lower their costs and “level out the playing field with their competitors”.
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