Kingspan: net zero energy is one step closer

by Tiffany Paczek
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These days, it’s important for companies to be environmentally conscious and sustainable – not only for their own peace of mind, but it’s becoming increasingly important to customers. Building materials company Kingspan is leading the way to a more sustainable future with its innovations.

Kingspan Insulation’s Somerton Kooltherm facility took a giant step toward net zero energy status when in flicked the switch on its huge rooftop solar array in early 2018.

Somerton’s solar photovoltaic (PV) system, supplied and installed by Origin Energy, was activated on schedule on 22nd February 2018.

Displaying its magnitude over the rooftop of the Somerton factory, the system consists of 2694 panels connected to 11 inverters and can produce a whopping 600kW of 415 volt 3 phase electricity.

Generating electricity through the daylight hours means the Somerton factory and offices will be able to operate purely on solar energy during the working week, and feed excess electricity back in to the grid after-hours and weekends.

After the first 12 months of operation it is expected the system will have generated a massive 979,200kWh of electricity, the equivalent to a year’s worth of usage in 180 average households.

The installation and activation of the new system is the last step in Somerton’s mission to achieve a 5-star Green Star energy rating. Securing this rating would see the manufacturing facility become the first of its kind in Australia.

“We believe it is imperative as a global supplier to the built environment to walk the talk and take a leadership position in respect to sustainable manufacturing practices,” says Kingspan’s managing director, Scott Gibson.

“Our commitment to sustainability is instilled in every part of our business. With a global commitment to have our manufacturing facilities net zero energy by 2020, we champion clean air and water conservation initiatives and low-energy smart lighting systems. Operationally, in Somerton you will find the best Kingspan can offer in respect to this,” Gibson says.

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Image courtesy of Kingspan Insulation Australia.

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