Based in Coburg North, Conga Foods is one of Australia’s leading private, family-owned companies in the grocery industry. For over 60 years, they’ve been searching the globe for the finest foods and bringing back the best new flavours for Australians to discover and share. In January 2018, they installed a 458 kW solar array through the Australian Energy Foundation’s solar for business program.
Why Conga Foods decided to install solar
Conga Foods’ decision to go solar came after upgrading their lighting to energy efficient LEDs, which reduced their electricity consumption by 13%. They were pleased with how much they had already saved, and decided to explore solar as well.
Conga Foods has high-energy needs to keep their produce cool and their office and warehouse running comfortably. This meant that solar made perfect sense for them, as much of their electricity usage is during the day.
How Conga Foods went about it
Conga Foods approached the Australian Energy Foundation to help them with the solar process. The Australian Energy Foundation provided Conga Foods with three quotes from three reputable solar suppliers. The quotes included estimations on how much each system would generate and the anticipated savings in carbon emissions and dollars off electricity bills. AEF also provided a summary of the quotes to help Conga Foods decide which one to go with.
After reviewing the solar quotes, Conga Foods selected one of the solar companies and had their system installed in January 2018.
The solar power system comprises of 1,698 panels with 16 inverters.
Conga Foods were pleased to see that they saw a drastic drop in their electricity bills straight away. Over the year the system is expected to reduce Conga Food’s grid energy consumption by over 40%, which will save the company over 700 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and thousands of dollars in operating costs each year.
One unexpected benefit is how much staff have engaged with the system. The system has monitoring that allows staff to view how much electricity the panels are generating and many of them are keen to view it and discuss the data.
Marc Valmorbida, Business Development Manage at Conga Foods would love to see more solar on the remaining roof space, as well as potentially place solar panels on other parts of Conga’s land. His vision is to be able to generate enough power for all Conga’s needs and be completely self-sustainable, powered by green electricity.