Teys Australia Condamine Plant Goes Big on Solar Power

solar farm

In 2015, an opportunity came up at our Condamine feedlot – we had the chance to participate in the Energy Savers Program, a partnership between Ergon Energy and Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF), funded by the Queensland Government.

The objective of this program was to help agribusinesses to reduce their energy costs by providing information and tools dedicated to more efficient practices and technologies. When Teys Condamine found out about the program, we volunteered to get involved and were successful in securing a co-funded energy audit of the facility. After all, managing the rising cost of energy and sustainability has become a part of the day-to-day operations for most Agribusinesses in Australia, and we’re no different.

To have the best start to the program possible, we engaged a specialist energy and carbon management consultancy (Energetics) to complete a detailed energy management evaluation (energy audit) of the feedlot in September 2015. A Certified Energy Manager form Energetics spent two days onsite reviewing our energy usage and looking at areas for improvement. Data loggers were installed on electricity circuits and an energy break up was developed to confirm areas of high consumption. The main areas of focus were pumps, mill motors, steam, compressed air, process heat and lighting. A final report was then presented to Teys with 13 recommendations to reduce energy consumption and operating costs.

solar power

To date, we have implemented 6 of the 13 recommendations including a major project for 100kW of solar. We also took this recommendation further by upscaling the solar PV array to 300kW, so that more of our daytime load could be serviced by renewable energy. This solar plant provides up to 50% of our plant’s electricity needs and is expected to reduce peak demand by at least 30%. The system is made of 1,034 solar panels (both roof and ground mount) and is expected to generate 506,000 kWh of electricity per year (equivalent to powering 77 family homes). This will reduce the site’s reliance on grid electricity by 50% and reduce scope 2 carbon emissions by 395 Tonnes (49%).

According to Phillip Lambert, Teys Condamine General Manager:

“The solar farm has been a huge win for our facility and the local community, in one project we have been able to reduce grid electricity by 50% and carbon emission by a similar amount. We have also been successful at reducing energy consumption of lighting and process heating off the back of the energy savers program, we’re very grateful and thank everyone that’s been involved.”