Brother New Zealand has marked a significant achievement in its ongoing commitment to sustainability – installing a 76.44kW solar energy system consisting of 168 x 455 watt solar panels at its Tauranga-based warehouse and offices.
The technology company expects to reduce energy emissions at the site by 43.5 percent as it makes the most of the Bay of Plenty’s high ranking sunshine hours and growing options for commercial solar powered systems to generate over 90,000 kilowatt hours a year, emissions-free, on its roof.
The 6,656 square meter building in Tauriko houses Brother’s printing, labelling, sewing and craft products and 45-strong workforce.
Brother New Zealand managing director Warwick Beban says the initiative is both good for the environment and good for the business.
“Brother takes its commitment to sustainability seriously. We continuously assess and seek to minimise our environmental impact so we can keep manufacturing the products that support homes and businesses in a sustainable way.
“It feels good to see this idea come to fruition. Knowing that a good portion of the electricity we use comes from clean, renewable energy that we generate ourselves helps us extend that commitment further into our business operations,” says Beban.
Brother worked with award-winning solar energy company, SuperPower, to develop an installation that maximised the yield and environmental benefits of the investment. System modelling provided by SuperPower shows that the clean electricity generated by the system is equivalent to 11 tonnes of avoided CO 2 emissions per year. That’s the same as more than 963,000 car kilometres avoided or planting 1,966 trees over the 25-year system lifetime.
Even during rainy or overcast conditions, the system is able to generate at up to 50 percent of its max output.
The initiative supports New Zealand’s broader need for more renewable electricity to meet carbon emissions targets. Excess power generated at peak times will be supplied back to the grid, where it can be accessed by other power users.
Beban says he is pleased with the expected environmental benefit and encourages other industrial users to consider their own renewable generation, noting its advantages for both the environment and the bottom line.
“After weighing the options, we decided on a greater initial investment that provided system sizing customised to Brother’s usage requirements and patterns and maximised the annual yield for our roof space. A structural feasibility assessment was required, but we’ve ended up with a system that’s fit for purpose and will see our initial investment recouped in just over seven years based on forecast electricity savings.”
Beban says that over the system lifetime, Brother stands to recoup its initial investment more than three times over.
Brother’s wider commitment to achieving carbon neutrality and reducing landfill waste extends across the lifecycle of its products, from green procurement to product recycling. Brother has held Toitū net carbonzero certification since 2013, which recognises their continued efforts to manage, reduce and offset carbon emissions.
Related: Brother New Zealand: Warwick Beban