Amatil's switch to solar

5,200 solar panels online at Eastern Creek by early 2020.

One of Australia’s largest solar panel arrays – 5,200 panels covering 8,516 square metres – is nearing completion on the roof of the Coca-Cola Amatil Distribution Centre in Sydney’s Eastern Creek.

Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, Mr Peter West said the panels would generate 2,400 MWh of electricity per annuum which is enough to power 400 homes or 63,000 LED street lights for one year. Completion is scheduled over summer with operation commencing in early 2020.

“We’re committed to generating low-carbon and renewable energy equivalent to 60 per cent of our operations,” Mr West said.

“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.

“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.”

Panel installation is overseen by renewable energy provider Verdia, and is on track for completion by the end of 2019. Verdia CEO Paul Peters said they were proud to be delivering the major Western Sydney project with Amatil.

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

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

The solar panels are part of Amatil’s commitment to achieving the Australian Renewable Energy Target (RET). Renewable energy systems generate Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) for Amatil, a proportion of which are retired to meet RET obligations.

Other renewable energy projects supported by Amatil include the pre-purchase of energy from Victoria’s Murra Warra Wind Farm, which completed Stage One installation earlier in 2019.

The numbers:
  • Installation of 5,203 solar panels covering 8,516 sq. m. and generating 2,400 MWh per annum.
  • The length of these panels would lap the Sydney Motorsport Park almost three times
  • Power generated from this solar system would power the following for one year - 400 homes, 63,125 LED street lights, 143,000+ phone chargers, or 24,500+ pedestal fans.
  • Installation due for completion in early 2020.