Renewable Energy Grants Energize Meat Processing Industry - LivestockTrend


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Wednesday 3 July 2024

Renewable Energy Grants Energize Meat Processing Industry

Two prominent red meat processors have recently secured grants from the Federal Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) program, aimed at advancing innovative renewable technologies.

One recipient, G&K O’Connor, located near Pakenham in Victoria, was awarded $399,503 to facilitate comprehensive decarbonization efforts at its processing facility. As a family-owned Australian company, G&K O’Connor is committed to minimizing energy consumption and emissions in food processing. Their strategy involves integrating renewable energy sources, implementing energy-efficient practices, and exploring waste-to-energy initiatives.

Last year, G&K O’Connor initiated its decarbonization journey with the installation of rooftop solar PV panels and LED lighting across its premises. These technologies were swiftly commissioned in early 2023, significantly reducing energy costs and emissions while ensuring minimal disruption to operations.

The installation of a 1.26 MW rooftop solar system has exceeded initial expectations, projected to decrease emissions by 1390 tCO2-e annually, and generate over $200,000 in yearly savings. Additionally, the project will yield Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates covering 40% of the investment.

In a similar vein, Bindaree Food Group in northern NSW received a $147,800 grant from ARENA to explore biomass processing options at its facility near Inverell, focusing on converting waste into energy.

ARENA’s initiatives, including the $400 million Industrial Transformation Stream (ITS) and the $40 million National Industrial Transformation (NIT) Program, support feasibility studies, engineering evaluations, and the implementation of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electrification projects across various industries.

Darren Miller, CEO of ARENA, highlighted the importance of these grants in assisting industrial energy users in Australia to reduce their carbon footprint. He emphasized that such initiatives are crucial for businesses in energy-intensive sectors to integrate renewable energy technologies effectively, contributing to Australia’s broader emissions reduction goals.

These grants underscore a proactive approach among businesses eager to adopt sustainable energy solutions, positioning them at the forefront of renewable energy innovation in industrial settings.

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