Case Study

McCain Foods


7.5MW Solar & 1.2MW BioGas Cogen 

Project Summary

The Context:

The McCain family take climate risk seriously and felt that becoming a member of the RE100 was good corporate leadership. This goal will be achieved by implementing PV at sites that are suitable, installing biodigesters coupled with co-gen units providing heat and electricity. The remaining fraction of consumed power will be supplied by off-take agreements with large scale in front of the meter wind and solar farms. 

The Brief:

There was a competitive tender process run by McCain, 22 bidders participated, SCS joined the process in the final round of the tender. Due to Smart’s existing expertise and good relationships with suppliers and Smart were able to generate a compelling offer within 2.5 weeks whereas other bidders had had 5 months. Without the deep technical knowledge that Smart has and network of highly skilled external suppliers and contractors a meaningful bid of this size and complexity would have been impossible to generate within 2.5 weeks.

Smart Commercial Solar proposed 6.9MW of single axis trackers coupled with a 500kW carpark and an architecturally designed truck flyover of 100kW. Due to the location of the main array, behind the factory and not easily visible from the road, McCain were very keen to offer shade over some of their staff car parking and have a highly visual signal that McCain have made a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. Smart’s offer to supply a truck flyover over the sites weigh-bridge only strengthened the visual impact McCain were hoping to achieve.

Why Smart Commercial Solar?

McCain chose Smart Commercial Solar based on the technical and economic offer coupled with Smart's highly collaborative and flexible implementation approach. The ability of Smart to put together a competitive and technically robust solution in such a short timeframe illustrated how Smart would operate during a complex build with multiple contractors and stakeholders.

Project Summary

Contract negotiations were based on an open dialogue with McCain and the no nonsense clear communication method of Smart help keep things moving along. Geotechnical risk was mitigated by further geotechnical analysis performed at site, consisting of additional test pits being dug, additional bore holes being drilled and then installing a number of test piles and performing destructive test upon them. This date gave greater clarity and informed the final engineering solution used.

Delivery of the project during a global pandemic caused issues with freight timelines and manufacturing of all key components. Contractors were unable to leave Victoria during the entire duration of the project and issues with inverter manufacturing were found during the commissioning of the system. The entire construction crew isolated in Ballarat for the duration of the build and worked closely with McCain to ensure COVID procedures adapted to the changing Victorian circumstances. Smart modified the construction schedule so that shipping delays caused minimal interruption to the project. Ultimately the project was delivered on time.


Key Project Stats

Coloured Fractal_5

Largest BtM PPA in Australia

Coloured Fractal_3

First of its kind single axis tracker

Coloured Fractal_2

1.2MW Onsite waste-to-energy generators

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