Australia’s first Green Star-rated manufacturing plant has switched on a 600-kilowatt rooftop solar system.

The 2694 solar panels at Kingspan Insulation’s Somerton Kooltherm facility in Victoria are expected to generate 979,200kWh of electricity over its first 12 months of operation, equivalent to 180 households annual needs.

The installation and activation of the system is the last step in the facility’s mission to achieve a 5 Star Green Star Performance rating, which would become another first for a manufacturing facility.

“We believe it is imperative as a global supplier to the built environment to walk the talk and take a leadership position in respect to sustainable manufacturing practices,” Kingspan Insulation managing director Scott Gibson said.

“Our commitment to sustainability is instilled in every part of our business. With a global commitment to have our manufacturing facilities net-zero energy by 2020, we champion clean air and water conservation initiatives and low-energy smart lighting systems.”

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