Noosa business goes solar and joins fight against coronavirus

A Sunshine Coast business is playing its part in combating the spread of COVID-19 by producing hand sanitiser with equipment which gets a lot of its power from the sun.

The Noosa Heads Distillery at Noosaville has redesigned its facilities to meet increasing demand for liquid hand sanitiser since the pandemic took hold in Australia.

“We were prompted by the local medical community to find supplies of hand sanitiser and came up with a recipe that complied with World Health Organisation and Therapeutic Goods Administration requirements,” said Co-Founder Tim Crabtree.

“It’s awesome to do that for the community, which leads to good awareness of our brand, and we’re also keeping the business ticking along.”

AGL helped the business, which includes the adjoining Land & Sea Brewery, in its quest to become carbon neutral by installing a 58.74 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system and repositioning an existing 20 kW solar system, bringing the total rooftop generation capacity to 78.74 kW.

Mr Crabtree said their ethos revolved around minimising their environmental impact to be as close to carbon neutral as possible.

“The solar installation means we are sourcing a significant proportion of the energy needed to operate the brewery, distillery and now sanitiser production from renewable sources, and during the day solar generation is helping offset our daytime power needs from the grid,” Mr Crabtree said.

AGL’s Head of Delivery Operations – Brendan Weinert said many companies were realising the value of solar energy in helping them to better manage their energy costs, save money on bills and reduce their environmental footprint.

“As the cost of solar energy systems becomes more economical and businesses recognise the impact of climate change, the attractiveness of rooftop solar continues to increase,” Mr Weinert said.

Mr Crabtree said sourcing energy from the sun was consistent with their objective of being sustainable and minimising their impact on the environment.

He said examples included:

  • using and recycling aluminium cans
  • using heat from the brewhouse to heat brew water
  • sending waste barley to a baker to make bread, and to a farmer to feed his cattle, and
  • using brewing by-products as natural fertilisers.

The Land & Sea Brewery also has accreditation under Surfrider Foundation Australia’s 'Ocean Friendly' program and has been recognised as a ‘champion’ by Plastic Free Noosa.

“We immerse ourselves in nature daily and it’s only fair that we do our part in preserving it for future generations,” he said.