The Somerton facility of Kingspan Insulation moved closer to its goal of net zero energy status when its huge rooftop solar array became operational last month. Supplied and installed by Origin Energy, Somerton’s rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system consists of 2694 panels connected to 11 inverters and is designed to produce 600kW of 415 volt 3-phase electricity.

Kingspan’s Somerton Kooltherm factory will operate purely on solar power during the working week with excess electricity being fed back into the grid during after-hours and on weekends. The system is expected to generate 979,200kWh of electricity, equivalent to powering 180 households for a year.

The installation of the new photovoltaic system is the last step in Somerton’s mission to achieve a 5 Star Green Star energy rating, which would see the manufacturing facility become the first of its kind in Australia.

Managing Director Scott Gibson says it’s imperative for Kingspan Insulation as a global supplier to the built environment to walk the talk and take a leadership position in sustainable manufacturing practices.

Underlining their global commitment to have all of their manufacturing facilities achieve net zero energy status by 2020, he added that the organisation champions clean air, water conservation, and low-energy smart lighting systems, with the Somerton facility featuring the best of these initiatives.