Energy Matters Commencing 290kW Solar Project For Bidvest

Energy Matters starting stage one of Australia’s largest purely privately funded rooftop solar array for Bidvest.

Bidvest has made an unprecedented move for the foodservice industry by committing to build Stage 1 of what is expected to be Australia’s largest privately-funded rooftop photovoltaic solar array. Bidvest will spend approximately $0.7 million to install up to 290kW of solar panels as stage 1 of a future 1 MWp solar array at the site.

Stage 1 will cover 30% of the roof of a new 9,000 m2 distribution centre in Bibra Lake, Western Australia, and will be included as part of the building construction. The new distribution centre will open in September 2013.

Stage 1 will generate an average of 450 MWh of electricity per annum : enough to power the site’s lighting and ancillary services, offsetting over 390 tonnes of CO2 per annum; equivalent to taking around 115 cars off the road, or powering NABERS 4 star office space for over 650 people.

Rachel Ruggiero, CEO of Bidvest Australia, said that Bidvest was working in partnership with Energy Matters, Australia’s leading solar power firm, to design, construct and install the system over the next few of months.

“Our installation of a large scale solar system is a first for foodservices in Asia-Pacific and we are proud to be leading the way. We are very aware of the future pressures on energy consumption and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint however we can. We expect payback on stage 1 of between 5 and 6 years,” Ms Ruggiero said.

Bidvest has already incorporated other energy and sustainability efficiency measures into its Australian operations including Hybrid trucks, ammonia charged freezer facilities and water catchment and recycling plants.

“Energy Matters have been great in advising us on minor design changes to the design of the new distribution centre to ensure that the whole building is solar ready. We expect to commit to Stage 2 of the Solar project once stage 1 is bedded down, within 12 months of the building opening. The completed Stage 1 and Stage 2 arrays will provide around 30% of the sites’ electricity requirements.”

Jeremy Rich, Managing Director of Energy Matters said that it was exciting for Energy Matters to be a part of this project. “As one of the first truly large-scale, privately funded and owned rooftop PV solar systems, we see this as the start of something big for commercial solar in Western Australia and applaud Bidvest for taking the lead,” Mr Rich said.

Energy Matters is currently building Australia’s current largest privately funded rooftop array – 400 kWp – at the Melbourne data centre of ASX listed NEXTDC Limited.

About Bidvest

Established in 1995, Bidvest Australia is recognised as one of the leading businesses in the country, delivering high quality products and services at competitive prices. Listed inside Australia’s top 200 companies, and employing more than 2500 people nationwide, Bidvest Australia operates five standalone divisions: Bidvest Foodservice; Bidvest Hospitality, Bidvest Logistics, Bidvest Meat and Bidvest Fresh.

Bidvest Australia offers its customers high quality products with reliable service delivery that is recognised as unparalleled in the industry. With more than 32 branches nationwide and servicing in excess of 50,000 customers, Bidvest stocks everything from dry and chilled products to frozen and non-food items, including papergoods, and cleaning chemicals.

It’s all about the food!

Bidvest Australia is part of the Bidvest Group – an international services, trading and distribution company operating on four continents and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

About Energy Matters

With annual sales of ~$100m, 8 years of installing 15,000 systems across Australia, and a client list that includes Australia Post, Johnson & Johnson, NEXTDC, Lend Lease and DEXUS property group, Energy Matters is the leading installer of commercial solar systems in Australia.

From a Southbank, Melbourne head office, we operate out of warehouses and offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Launceston – and through a network of nationwide representatives and partners. We are led by a professional board which includes George Pappas (former Managing Partner Boston Consulting Group and current Committee for Melbourne Chair) and Phillip Brass (former Managing Director of Pacific Dunlop and former Chairman of Rothschild Australia).

For more information:

Bidvest Australia
Peter Crowe
General Manager – Marketing
+61 07 38238730

Energy Matters
Jeremy Rich
Managing Director
+61 03 96971947