Harnessing the sun's energy from Kaitaia to Kuala Lumpur

Harnessing the sun's energy from Kaitaia to Kuala Lumpur

1 April 2021

Solar panels on Farm Source’s stores are offsetting carbon equivalent to 12 Farm Source delivery utes each month and are generating impressive operational cost savings.

Farm Source stores in Te Awamutu, Kaponga, Kaitaia, Stratford and ÅŒtorohanga are seeing solar success, since their roofs were fitted out with solar panels in September last year.

From September through to February, the five local stores harnessed the sun to produce 90,173kWh of power through the solar panels, that’s 101 percent of their power coming from the sun.

In total, these panels deliver an annual operational cost saving of $15,960 and a carbon offset equivalent to us taking 12 Farm Source delivery utes off the road each month (as compared to a non-renewable energy source).

The introduction of solar panels, which reflects Fonterra's target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, have already proven successful in reducing emissions at our Kuala Lumpur site in Malaysia and the Jarkata site in Indonesia.

Now New Zealand is sharing in those achievements.

Looking at the most recent solar panel readings from February, it was Farm Source Stratford that produced the most power for the month with 3,728kWh coming from the panels its roof – equivalent to 155 percent of the store’s energy use.

But down the road, Farm Source Kaponga is boasting the greatest energy production to date. Across September through February, 20,963kWh of power came from its roof. And in February alone, the panels produced 161 percent of the store’s energy use.

The introduction of solar panels to the stores is in addition to other changes being made to improve Farm Source’s performance from a sustainability perspective, such as new suites of recycling services being set up.

While the target of net zero carbon emissions is set for 2050, come 2025, Fonterra has two key targets to achieve: to send no solid waste to landfill, and to have 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging on its home brands.

There is certainly a lot of work underway across the stores, but help is also available for farmers wanting to reduce on-farm waste with Fonterra’s SDAs (Sustainable Dairy Advisors) working with farmers to create FEPs (Farm Environment Plans) and talking about good waste practices.