Innovative fruit supplier cuts costs and energy

Radevski Coolstores, an apple and pear supplier in the Goulburn Valley, will boost its operations and reduce its overall energy costs by installing solar PV and a state-of-the-art fruit grader financed through Commonwealth Bank and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Energy Efficient Loan (EEL) product.

The family’s energy efficiency drive extends past the Energy Efficient Loan financed projects to include LED lighting in the new fruit grader shed and the installation of a variable speed drive at one of the irrigation pump sites which will deliver pump energy savings of around 25 per cent.

This is in addition to the new ammonia-based refrigeration system already financed through the Energy Efficient Loan in 2013 which has reduced by about one quarter the refrigeration energy use and carbon emissions for the business’s 16 cool rooms.

CEFC CEO, Oliver Yates, said he was pleased Radevski Coolstores was building on savings already gained through a refrigeration upgrade in 2013 to make further investment in efficient, cleaner energy upgrades which would significantly increase efficiency and lower the firm’s carbon footprint.

“It is good to see forward-looking businesses like Radevski deploying Commonwealth Bank and CEFC Energy Efficient Loan finance to help retain their competitive position. The program is working with businesses to help them ‘unpack’ the value of investment in new energy efficient equipment to realise the full potential of improved productivity and cuts to energy and operational costs, water use, and maintenance,” he said.

General Manager, Peter Radevski, said the new equipment would increase the energy productivity and competitiveness of Radevski Coolstores while enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint.

“This will help us achieve a better way to grade, store, and package our fruit and will help us remain at the forefront of technology and ensure our long-term viability in what is a competitive market,” he said.

The new 100 KW solar PV system will provide around 12 per cent of their energy needs and with the addition of the new grader, Radevski Coolstores is expected to reduce its overall energy bill by around 25 per cent. Savings are expected through reduced energy use, reduced reliance on town water, the ability to store fruit at a slightly higher temperature, and reduced packaging needs.

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