AN ALBURY manufacturer plans a future free of power bills after an off-grid solar system with 150 roof panels took effect on Thursday.
CHECKING IT OUT: Bourgault Australia managing director Denis Dorval with Energis commercial energy consultant Jake Bruce and installer Dai Jenkins.
Thecommercial projectmeansthe company is nowself-sufficient for its energy requirements.
SPACE FOR MORE: Some of the 150 solar panels, each of them 260 watts, on the roof of Bourgault’s main building. They use about 15 per cent of the available area.
Bourgault Australia’s operations at Ettamogah had been running off a diesel generator since the farm machinery specialist opened its temporary shedtwo-and-a-half years ago.
Managing director Denis Dorval said attempts to connect to the grid became complicated and it appeared the power lines would need to go underground, at considerable expense.
STREAMLINED: The off-grid solar system requires little floor space.
“And Jake just happened to stopin here as a cold sales call at just the right time,” Mr Dorval said.
Energis commercial energy consultant Jake Bruceand electrician Dai Jenkins, an Energis installer, put the systemintoBourgault’s newly builtmain building this week.
Mr Dorval said the generator had served its purposebut was only ever short-term, given the bigger building and energy demands such ascranes to be installed and air conditioning.
“We were going through about 2500 litres of fuel every six or seven weeks,” he said.
“It was probably $1200, $1300 a month, I suppose; it will be reduced to probably $130 a month if that.”
Mr Bruce said the system, the first he hadinstalled forEnergis on the Border, includedthe 260-watt panels, 40 large batteries that hold two days’ power and a back-up generator.
“Being so new, we just needed to take our time and make sure we got it all right,” he said.
Mr Dorval said improvements in technology meantthe installation required onlywall space and about two square metres of floor for the battery box.
“The older solar systems that we used to see, they had massive, just about separate, sheds to store batteries and components.
“Power bills never go down, theykeep going up and up;this (system) isn’t going to change, the sun’s going to keep shining.
“We have lots of roof and we can add a lot of panels;we’re not married to the system as it is, it can be expanded upon quite easily.”
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