McCallum Linen Combined Solar and Wood Waste Power

McCallum Linen currently supplies a large number of accommodation facilities in the Ballarat Region with laundered bedding and towels. This social enterprise, which provides people with special needs with employment and training opportunities, is facing ever increasing costs for its gas and electricity. The CPH Ballarat has funded feasibility studies for the integration of solar electricity (PV rooftop panels) and woodchip heating to meet much of the enterprise’s energy needs. It is proposed that a 2 megawatt fully automated woodchip boiler system can replace the current natural gas fired system and a 99kW rooftop PV installation can generate a significant proportion of the enterprise’s year round electricity demand and export excess electricity to the grid during summer, weekends and public holidays generating a feed in tariff.

Next steps are to conduct independent business case analysis to capture all costs and ensure there is a guaranteed long term supply of suitable woodchip delivered to the site at an affordable cost. The total capital investment required will be in the order of $1million. The information received from the business case will assist the McCallum Disability Services Board and CPH determine whether the investment is best made through internal financing, staged, seeking a loan or establishing a community investment entity which could fund the capital, sell the energy to the enterprise and receive a shareholder dividend.