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Arnott’s cooks up 5.4 MW rooftop deal with CleanPeak Energy


CleanPeak Energy will install a 4.1 MW solar system at Australian biscuit manufacturer Arnott’s Group’s Huntingwood production facility in western Sydney as part of a whole-of-meter deal that will help the iconic manufacturer make the switch to 100% renewable energy at the site by 2029.

The multi-building Huntingwood manufacturing facility will feature a 4.1 MW rooftop PV system and 600 kW of solar car park shades which will operate alongside a 15 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS). The project, which will comprise an estimated 10,000 solar panels, shapes as one of Australia’s largest integrated behind-the-meter solar and battery installations, generating more than 5.25 GWh of renewable electricity annually.

CleanPeak will also source an additional 17.3 GWh of mixed renewable and non-renewable electricity as part of a multi-year front-of-meter energy agreement that will allow operations at the site to progressively transition to renewable electricity from 2023, reaching 100% by 2029.

Sydney-based CleanPeak will also build a 1.3 MW rooftop solar system at Arnott’s manufacturing site at Virginia in Queensland.

Arnott’s chief transformation officer Simon Lowden said the agreement with CleanPeak “allows us to make significant progress towards achieving our group net-zero targets that we’ve set ourselves.”

“It offers greater certainty over our electricity prices, is affordable and efficient, and is just one of the tools we’re investing in to get to meet our net-zero commitment. We are also investing in large-scale energy monitoring trials and working with our suppliers to better understand their emission profiles,” he said.

The Huntingwood project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023.

Image: Northrop

CleanPeak chief executive Phillip Graham said he was excited to work with Arnott’s in building a behind-the-meter strategy for their manufacturing sites and partnering with them to deliver a whole-of-meter 100% renewable offering.

“It’s terrific to see tier-one industrial companies who have large rooftops in metropolitan areas showing the leadership needed to achieve the renewable energy transition,” he said. “These deals are very complex in a manufacturing environment as its imperative to deliver the system without impacting production, and we congratulate The Arnott’s Group’s focus and commitment to achieving what really is commercial sustainability in action.”

From January 1, 2023, CleanPeak will become the energy retailer for Arnott’s Huntingwood and Virginia sites. The company will then commence installation of the rooftop systems with the Huntingwood project due to be fully operational by the end of 2023.

Graham said about half of the energy use at the 44,000sqm Huntingwood facility, which operates 24 hours, seven days a week, would come from behind-the-meter resources, providing a significant cost saving for Arnott’s, which is owned by United States-headquartered investment firm KKR.

“By managing high-quality solar and battery assets behind the meter and integrating them with our portfolio of renewable assets, we’re able to offer reliable, firm renewables, that are more cost-effective than current grid contracts,” he said.

Graham told the Australian Financial Review that Arnott’s is expected to save money in the short- and long-term on electricity because generally, behind-the-meter resources could deliver electricity of $100 per MWh, compared to a grid rate of $250 per MWh.

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