FIMER’S technology helps Australia’s Freedom Foods take a solar leap to become more sustainable.

FIMER has delivered its award-winning, high-power PVS-175 to Freedom Foods, one of Australia’s largest food and beverage manufacturers, enabling it to become more sustainable while reducing costs and improving efficiencies.

Freedom Foods Group is an Australian-owned company with a portfolio of well-known brands across cereals, snacks, dairy, plant-based and nutritional products that are distributed around the world. As part of its commitment to sustainability, in 2019 Freedom Foods Group identified its Shepparton site in Victoria, Australia as the start of its solar and battery journey. 
The 3.8 MW solar and 500kW/1250kWh battery project was designed, installed and commissioned by AEES Group, a leading end-to-end energy management company.

AEES Group selected FIMER as one of its technology partners for the project as it knew it could count on FIMER to support AEES and Freedom Foods Group throughout the life of the project and the plant, from project design and delivery to installation and commissioning.

Freedom Food Group’s Shepparton site is a High-Voltage (HV) 22kV site. AEES Group designed the innovative solution so its solar generation is fed into three HV skids via FIMER’s 1500V PVS-175 string inverters, which connect into the site’s HV Transformers. 

This project was the first in Australia to employ FIMER’s largest string inverters. 

The 3.8 MW solar project was built over three stages. When completed in February 2020, a total of 18 PVS-175 three-phase string inverters were installed and commissioned. 

FIMER’s PVS-175 inverter technology allows larger capacity, which comes without compromising the inherent flexibility and versatility typical of smaller string inverters. With the larger capacity, fewer inverters are required to complete the optimal power block.

The total solution provided by FIMER includes the following:

  • 18 x PVS-175 string inverters;
  • Spare parts kit;
  • Commissioning of the inverters; and
  • 72 hours on-site support for the first year of operation.

Richard Martin, Managing Director of AEES Group, said he was extremely impressed with the FIMER solution. 

“FIMER’s PVS-175 was the ideal choice for delivering this landmark project,” he said. “The flexibility and power specifications this inverter could deliver, coupled with FIMER’s technical know-how and experience, meant we were able to meet our customer’s expectations and deliver a superior and reliable solution.”
FIMER’s unique approach with the PVS-175 also offers 1500 Vdc (volts direct current) and 800 Vac (volts alternating current) – the largest solution available on the market. Due to the higher AC and DC voltage, the solution provides the greatest cost-savings, with increased return on investment. FIMER’s solution is also plug and play, which enables considerably faster installation to meet project timings. FIMER’s Aurora Vision Plant Management Platform is being used for the remote monitoring of the entire system.

Warren Merritt, FIMER Australia’s Technical Sales Lead, said he enjoyed working closely with AEES Group over the course of the project. “This project was fantastic to be part of,” he said.

“To see the team to not only deliver one of Victoria’s largest behind-the-meter solar installations but to see the results being delivered back to the customer has been great.”

The solar and battery solution will see 5.36 GWh produced annually, which equates to an emission reduction of approximately 5,500 metric tonnes of CO2 per year. 

Please note that this project was completed when the product portfolio was under the ABB brand.

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