Renewable Energy Opportunities Assessment
The Challenge
The Solution
The Benefit

The Challenge

Fonterra’s carbon emissions in 2017/18 stood at 284,401 tonnes, with half these emissions coming from gas. Acacia Energy was consulting on how to reduce the emissions through electricity related emissions, so Acacia had to get creative with reducing as much of Fonterra’s total emissions through solely electricity. While the solar solutions would well surpass Fonterra’s goal of 30% internal target, Acacia Energy was aiming to get as close to 50% as possible. Although, this was not possible through solely the solar solutions at Fonterra’s four Victorian sites, so Acacia Energy had to get creative.

The Solution

After visiting all four sites, Acacia Energy began simulating what varying renewable energy solutions would do for both the carbon emissions and power bill at each site. Acacia Energy explored solar options of varying sizes, tilts and types (e.g. single axis tracker), as well as battery and on grid renewable energy options.

Acacia Energy worked in close collaboration with Fonterra to best understand their needs and to help develop the best recommendations for them. Ultimately, after extensive consideration, Acacia Energy recommended the following systems.

  • 10MW ground-mount solar system for their Darnum site
  • 4.8MW ground-mount solar system for Stanhope main plant
  • 800KW ground-mount system for Stanhope aeration pond
  • 200kW Ground Mount Solar System for Cobden Irrigation Farm
  • 500KW system on the roof of their Campbellfield site
  • 3MW Ground-Mount Solar System for Cobden Main Plant
  • 1.5MW Ground Mount Solar System for Cobden Beverage Plant

Furthermore, Acacia Energy was able to look further down Fonterra’s supply chain, identifying an innovative opportunity to get solar panels on the roofs of the dairy farmers that supply their milk, creating savings for the farmers and carbon abatement for Fonterra. Through this, Fonterra will incentivize farmers within their supply chain to move their off-peak electricity consumption, such as heating hot water, to during the day to be able to soak up as much electricity consumption as possible through solar generation.


The Benefit

These solutions took Fonterra to well past their 30% carbon abatement target, reaching to 38% of their total 50% target. The solutions also delivered a combined lifetime savings of $79,571,000, over double the capital expenditure of the project.

Acacia Energy provided a timeline of when each project would be expected to begin and the carbon abatement associated in these timelines, which has been outlined in the graph below.