Coca-Cola Amatil is nearing completion on one of Australia’s largest solar panel arrays: 5200 panels covering 8516 square metres on the roof of its distribution centre in Eastern Creek, Sydney.

The panels are set to generate 2400 MWh of electricity per annum, which Peter West, managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, says is enough to power 400 homes or 63,000 LED street lights for a year.

According to West, CCA is committed to generating low-carbon and renewable energy equivalent to 60 per cent of its operations.

“We’re currently at 56 per cent for this year, and power from these panels will get closer to this goal.

“Bottling is energy-intensive, and we rely on the power grid to reliably manufacture and supply Australia’s most popular beverages. It’s fair we contribute back to that grid through low-carbon and renewable sources like this solar panel array,” he said.

Completion is scheduled over the summer, with the panels expected to come online in early 2020, said West.

“Inputs from the array are also expected to cut Amatil’s energy costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars at Eastern Creek and reduce our electricity usage from the local grid by 14 per cent.

“So this switch to solar is good news for sustainability and a good commercial outcome for the business,” he said.

Renewable energy provider Verdia is overseeing the installation, which according to CEO Paul Peters, is on track for completion by year’s end.

“Western Sydney has numerous industrial business parks and a massive warehousing footprint which is largely untapped for onsite solar.

“Coca-Cola Amatil is taking a leading role in changing this situation, and we look forward to other businesses following their lead,” he said.

Amatil has also supported other renewable energy projects including the pre-purchase of energy from Victoria’s Murra Warra Wind Farm, which completed stage one installation earlier this year.

Food & Drink Business

Fine Food Australia has cancelled its 2020 trade show due to the reintroduction of stage three COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria. The show was scheduled to take place from 7-10 September in Melbourne.

Freedom Foods Group has advised the ASX that its voluntary trading halt will remain in place until 30 October while it investigates its financial position.

Bega Cheese has announced the reduction and consolidation of its processed cheese production, with 74 jobs to go at its Bega facility by Christmas.