SWITCHED ON: MPC General Manager Steven Lee is exciting to introduce clean energy into the production facility near Lismore.
SWITCHED ON: MPC General Manager Steven Lee is exciting to introduce clean energy into the production facility near Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Macadamia factory invests in sustainable energy

New solar power for processing plant: MPC General Manager Steve Lee is exciting to introduce clean energy into the production facility near Lismore.
New solar power for processing plant: MPC General Manager Steve Lee is exciting to introduce clean energy into the production facility near Lismore.

THE Macadamia Processing Company (MPC) have flicked a switch on a new near-$1 million solar system which will generate payback within three years and supply enough energy to power 25 per cent of the sites requirements.

The world's biggest macadamia processor now qualifies as a Power Station from the 600kW solar electricity system installed on the roof of its Alphadale factory.

Apart from energy cost savings, it will also see growers getting paid more for their product.

MPC General manager Mr Steven Lee said the system needed to be registered as a power station with Federal Governments Clean Energy Regulator due to its size.

"The system will provide enough electricity to run the entire plant during the day and save around 25 per cent on the company's electricity bill," Mr Lee said.

"It's been a very satisfying project resulting in lower energy costs, improved profitability and a reduced environmental footprint."

 

SWITCHED ON: Macadamia Processing Co. have introduced a solar farm at the production facility at Alphadale.
SWITCHED ON: Macadamia Processing Co. have introduced a solar farm at the production facility at Alphadale.

The new equipment has an effective working life of over 20 years and Mr Lee said MPC expect to generate savings in electricity consumption for a long time into the future.

"That's great news for us not only as a business but also for our macadamia grower suppliers who will get the benefit from those savings in terms of increased payment for their crops into the future."

Mr Lee said MPC has a track record of investing in environmental sustainability with the business installing the world's largest energy-efficient macadamia drying system in 2014.

"The system burns waste macadamia shell, a renewable fuel source to provide heat for drying the crop.

"We also installed LED lighting throughout the factory in 2017 and recycle cardboard and plastics waste.

"Our staff are always on the lookout for opportunities to save energy and reduce waste," he said.

MPC is 100% owned by Australian macadamia growers and employs 185 staff at its Alphadale factory where it processes 25 per cent of the annual Australian macadamia crop.