On Tuesday, 17th January, 2023, Sydney’s Northern Beaches paint maker, Colormaker Industries, passed the milestone of having saved 500 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) through the electricity produced from our 100 kW solar array.
That was a day short of 40 months since the array was first powered up on 18th September, 2019, in the midst of the Black Summer bushfires. Since then, despite first the smoke of the bushfires and then 3 successive years of La Niña rainfall, the solar array has pushed out clean electricity every single day, culminating in this achievement.
The installation of Colormaker’s solar array proved to be a jumping off point for Colormaker, which has now followed up with three EVs for deliveries and staff transport, an electric forklift (no more LPG on site), a more energy efficient air compressor and a small battery to soak up some of the surplus electricity.
The solar array was originally designed to produce around twice as much electricity as the business needed. However, being a has producer made Colormaker a lot more conscious of our own use. The new compressor was the biggest factor in getting overall electricity usage down 20%.
“Having such a huge energy surplus has been a great enabler for Colormaker” advised our MD, David Stuart.
“Notwithstanding the very real effects of La Niña, we now produce 2.2 times as much electricity as we use. If the sun comes out and stays out, we might get that up to 2.4. Even so, for every single kWh that we’ve purchased over the past 12 months, we put 4.44 kWh into the grid. Since the battery went in, we’ve also been able to bring our demand down to 1/7th of what it was when we first installed solar, taking further strain off the grid.”
“Our current projects on-site are working towards eliminating buying any electricity during the evening peak and to improving self-sufficiency; the first battery is moving us rapidly in that direction. Against an historical self-sufficiency average of 65% (we could still only supply 65% of our electricity needs), for NOV/DEC we achieved a record 83.5% and expect that to be bettered in January. Once we install our big battery, we’re confident that we’ll get above 90%, possibly even 95%.”
“Looking beyond our own site, the use of one electric vehicle looks set to have saved 4 – 5 tonnes of GHGs p.a. from vehicle emissions vs a traditional ICE vehicle. To close out 2022, we acquired two more EVs but are really looking forward to the delivery of our Australian made big battery and Aussie made prototype delivery van – with a much bigger range and payload capacity, we see this vehicle as being a game changer” David said.
While Colormaker’s objective over the next 2 years is to be Net Zero by 2025, until the big battery and van arrive, we are getting on with the paint business, making the world a better place through colour and putting Northern Beaches sunshine into every drop we make.