Hindmarsh Plumbing - 100kW System + 40.5kWh Battery Storage
Commercial
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December 23, 2020

NRG Solar worked with Hindmarsh Plumbing to achieve their sustainability goals

Established almost 50 years ago, Hindmarsh Plumbing is a South Australian plumbing business that provides design, installation, commissioning, and servicing of all aspects of plumbing, gas fitting and allied services in the commercial and industrial markets.

Motivation for going solar

Hindmarsh Plumbing were racking up power bills of almost $24,000 per year. Aside from the financial implications of this, the team were conscious of the carbon footprint that they were creating with their high energy consumption. With no way to cut down on actual consumption without hindering the operations of the business, they knew it was time to explore how commercial solar and batteries could work for them.

Sarah Constructions Project Manager, Mel Willington referred Hindmarsh Plumbing to NRG Solar after our work on their Solar Energy Pod at the Whyalla Secondary College construction site.

Following a discussion with NRG's Adelaide Commercial Solar Specialist, a clear brief for the job was decided upon.

Hindmarsh Plumbing General Manager, Ben Harrington, stated that the goal of the project was to implement a solution that would assist with the “aim to have the Hindmarsh Plumbing site electricity at active carbon neutral status in 21/22 financial year.” Subsequently, there were a few requirements for the project in order to reach this goal.

Project Requirements

·        Solar offsetting office and warehouse daily consumption

·        Battery supply for evening/night loads (I.T, lighting etc)

·        Having a backup supply for essential loads – so even if the grid supply goes down, they can support their customers

·        A visual showcase for all to see and engage in

·        Scalability for future expansion

·        Minimal interruptions to operations

·        Reserve surplus solar for future vehicle charging (EVs)

 

Stage One of the Project is now complete, which includes:

The Solution

Panels:

• 266x 370W Winaico all-black panels

Inverters:

• 4 x Fronius Eco 27 inverters

Battery Storage:

• 1 x gateway, 3 x Tesla Powerwall for 40.5kWh Battery Storage

Main Switch Board Replacement:

• 1 x BE Switch craft Meter Box/Switch board with NPU. This included combining 3 NMIs on the property to 1 to ensure their whole site could be solar powered by the one system.

Other Equipment:

• Clenergy racking

• Fronius Smart Meter

Winaico All Black Panels

BE Switch craft Meter Box/Switch board with NPU.

The Challenge

During the installation we needed to coordinate several initiatives:

·        Coordination of 2 x SAPN appointments (witness testing and REX appt)

·        Completing works with minimal disruption to day-to-day operations, which needed out of hours and Saturday work(s)

·        Creating a visual showcase of the installation

·        Hardwire all communications

·        Safe installation while working on a busy commercial site

The Solar Wall showcases their solar achievements

The solar wall was installed to showcase the measures that Hindmarsh Plumbing are putting in place to reach their carbon neutral target.

Featuring 3 Tesla Powerwall’s and 4 Fronius inverters, it presents the extent to which Hindmarsh Plumbing are taking considerable steps to reach their sustainability goals and ensuring they are upholding environmentally conscious values throughout their operations.

The Hindmarsh Plumbing Solar Wall

With a commercial solar system, their electricity costs have plummeted

Our projections show that Hindmarsh Plumbing will see a 19% return on investment with a payback period of just 5.2 years. They are estimated to see a 107% reduction in their annual bill, with their bill reduced by almost $25,000 p.a.

On top of this, Hindmarsh Plumbing’s self-sufficiency is calculated to sit around 89%. However, we are currently achieve 99% self-consumption since install.

For a large premises and energy consumer like this, this is a huge improvement and major step in the right direction in reaching their net zero target.

Once a full bill cycle has occurred (April 2022), we will run the numbers on the exact power bill savings and self-sufficiency they have achieved since installation. Watch this space.

A commercial system that grows with the business for long-term sustainability

“We were motivated to invest in the combined solar and battery system to reduce the carbon footprint of our business in a commercially viable manner.
We chose to partner with NRG because they understood these goals and designed a system to best meet our value proposition of being both ethically and commercially motivated. The system has been designed to grow and evolve into the future as we introduce electric vehicles into our fleet and as other technology becomes available.
Both the initial consultation and installation team were professional and easy to work with.
As it stands the system has offered our business additional benefits by providing an uninterrupted power supply for our server and office internet, meaning that in the event of any grid related outage the business is effectively able to run these resources without ever losing power.
Since the system went live, we have relied on the electricity grid for less than 1% of our total electricity and we are proudly able to share this commitment to social and environmentally sustainable business practices with our staff and clients.”

– Ben Harrington, General Manager, Hindmarsh Plumbing

NRG Solar Managing Director, Eddy May said that

When I first met Ben, his vision was clear. He explained to me that although our solar solution had to make financial sense, his main motivation was ensuring that his industry thought responsibly about our future with regards to carbon emissions and our environment. He told me “If we lead the way, others will follow and that will end up being a great thing for our environment”. I am very proud of our team to be able to deliver this complex project with an upmost care for safety and within budget.”

Plans for stage 2

Since the beginning of the project, the plan has been to re-evaluate after stage 1 to future proof the premises and assist with their vision of moving towards an EV fleet of cars. In the next stage of the project, NRG Solar together with Hindmarsh Plumbing will look to optimise the site for electric vehicle (EV) charging, by adding more solar and looking at expansion opportunities.

This has been an incredibly successful project in conjunction with Hindmarsh Plumbing, and NRG Solar looks forward to continuing with the optimisation of their premises and helping them to achieve their sustainability goals.

If your business or premises is looking to increase your sustainability through renewables, get in touch with NRG Solar on 1300 858 160 to organise a time with our Commercial Solar Specialist.

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