Fort Knox Creating A Brighter Future With Solar!
Australia is not called the Sunburnt country for nothing; we have more solar radiation per square kilometre on average than anywhere else in the world. The sun gives us 10,000 times more energy annually than Australians consume in a year. We are fortunate in Australia to have the sun all year round, even in winter. Solar panels allow us to maximise on what is a renewable source of energy. Additionally, the destruction of forests for mining raw materials, like fossil fuels removes the carbon dioxide from the air which impacts on climate change and increases global warming. It is estimated that 10 native wild animal species live in these forests, so loss of habitats can have a significant effect on diminishing animal populations.
Here at Fort Knox Self Storage we identified the need to lower the impact of doing business both environmentally and economically. As a power consumer, we see the opportunity to lead the way with carbon reduction through self-generating power, like solar energy.
In 2014 we embarked on a new environmental project by installing 240 solar panels which encompass a 60kW photovoltaic (PV) system. At the time installation this was the largest solar project in the Knox district. Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. By installing solar at our Scoresby facility, our aim was to help combat greenhouse gas emissions and global warming and reduce our collective dependence on fossil fuel and derive 100% of our daytime power from the system.
The investment has slashed our emissions in some cases over 60% even up to 90%. Our excess clean power is feeding neighbours’ homes or businesses and lowering the burden on the electricity grid in the community. This helps to maintain a steady and reliable power network during peak times when the grid struggles to keep up.
To date our Scoresby site has produced some impressive statistics including;
- – Saved us an approx. of $12,136.00 on our annual electricity bill
- – Reduced co2 by 297 tonnes
- – Offset carbon dioxide equivalent of 7,617 trees
- – Reduced emission to comparable to driving a car 1,980,373 klm
These statistics speak volumes on their own and clearly demonstrate the benefits solar has on our community and environment. Hence our comfort in our decision to continue to rollout on a much bigger scale by installing another 1274 solar panels to further 5 of our sites including Fort Knox Alphington, Eltham, Keysborough, Ringwood and Vermont in recent months.
The addition of these 5 sites means we currently have;
- – 6 systems
- – 1,514 solar panels
- – 404kW
The investment in this project is entirely recouped in 3.5 years through significantly reduced energy cost, sale of excess energy to the grid, not to mention the tax benefits with the depreciating asset. The long-term financial savings and earnings together with the momentous environmental benefits makes this initiative a win win.
We tested the water so to speak with our partner Enervest and the equipment supplied with our Scoresby pilot installation to ensure, when we were ready to continue a roll out, we have the right equipment being installed by the right people. It was imperative for us to do our due diligence before commencing the project as we knew we would be investing in something that would last for 20+years. This meant we wanted to have trust and proof on concept that it will outlast our expectations. To date we have been exceptionally pleased with the relationship we have with Enervest and the professional service that they have provided has been exceptional.
Switching to solar has proven to be a simple and cost-effective way for us to make a momentous difference as it reduces toxic greenhouse gases, protects our forests, safeguards our animal populations and provides our community with a clean renewable environmentally green solution.
Having taken the leap into investing into solar together with a solid commitment into innovative ideas to make storage easy whilst, reducing costs and minimising our environmental impact. We believe Fort Knox Self Storage is well deserving of Industry recognition and in so we nominated our solar project in the Self Storage Association of Australasia 2018 Business Initiative /Sustainability Award. While the winner will not be awarded until 24th August we are delighted but no surprised to have made it to a finalist and are in to top 3 of the whole of Australia and NZ for this award category!