13 Jun 2017

NAB and CEFC announce further $180m for energy efficient assets

Australian farmers and Agribusiness owners are poised to reduce energy costs and further transform their energy use following today’s announcement that NAB and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will provide an additional $180 million in finance for investments in energy efficient and renewable energy equipment.

The new finance extends the NAB’s successful Energy Efficient Bonus program to $300 million. The program provides NAB customers with a 0.7 per cent discount on its standard equipment finance rate for loans for eligible clean energy investments.

The latest round of finance will see NAB offer businesses of all sizes discounted equipment finance for eligible clean energy assets that cut energy use or generate renewable energy. This includes vehicles, efficient irrigation systems, solar PV, building upgrades, lighting upgrades, processing line improvements and refrigeration.

Of the initial $120 million in CEFC finance, 87% was used by NAB Agribusiness and rural customers. Among them were Chris Georgopoulos and Jimmy Kalafatis from GV Storage in Shepparton, Victoria, who installed roof-top solar panels which generate enough power to meet more than 65% of their energy needs.

“As second generation farmers growing apples and pears and currently processing 66,000 bins of fruit per year, we require a massive amount of power, so we investigated solar,” Mr Georgopoulos said.

“NAB backed us with the energy efficiency loan which has reduced our energy costs, made us more sustainable, particularly with some beautiful days here in Shepparton.”

Khan Horne, General Manager NAB Agribusiness, welcomed the program’s second round of financing and said hundreds of agribusinesses have already transitioned to more sustainable business models.

“After surveying 5,000 of our farmers for two consecutive years, 85% told us they saw energy costs as a significant business risk. So we’re helping our customers transition to more sustainable business models and, particularly for intensive agriculture, significantly reducing their energy and water bills,” Mr Horne said.

CEFC Head of Portfolio Management Paul Greenop said the Energy Efficient Bonus program had already provided finance for more than 1000 assets nationwide.

“We are pleased to provide further support to this highly successful program, which is making it easier for businesses to tap into the benefits of energy efficient, renewable energy and low emissions technologies,” Mr Greenop said.

“Accelerating the uptake of these technologies helps businesses across the country reduce their grid energy costs as well as lower their carbon emissions. At the same time, investments in new clean energy technologies can boost productivity through more efficient operating practices.”

Customer profiles:

PROJECT: GV Storage, Shepparton, Victoria
Action Results
  • Vertically integrated business with sustainability considered at every stage from growing, packing, storing, distributing and marketing.
  • The solar system, at 508kW, is one of the largest roof-top installations in Australia and powers their storage facilities.
  • The large scale solar system comprises 1,916 high quality solar panels, giving a total system capacity of 508kWp.
  • Solar is generating around 65% of their energy needs.
  • GV Storage will generate more than 650,000 kWh of green energy per annum, which is eligible to receive LGC income credits under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target.  An LGC (Large Scale Generation Certificate) represents one Mega Watt hour of net renewable energy generated.
PROJECT: Parilla Potatoes, Parilla, South Australia
Action Results
  • One of South Australia’s leading potato onion and carrot growers, Parilla Premium Potatoes produces more than 55,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables a year for local and international markets.
  • Invested in variable rate centre pivot –this allows them to only apply the water/fertiliser they need.
  • Has reduced energy use by around 15 per cent.
  • Has reduced water and fertiliser consumption by around 20 per cent
PROJECT: Tahbilk Winery & Vineyard, Victoria
Action Results
  • Historic family owned winery Tahbilk produces over 100,000 cases of wine each year, exporting to the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries.
  • Tahbilk installed a 100kw solar system.
  • The new solar is expected to provide electricity for around 15 to 20 per cent of Tahbilk’s power supply needs.
  • The installation of solar provides the ability to purchase fewer carbon credit offsets to maintain the winery’s carbon neutral certification status with New Zealand’s carboNZero program.

 

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