West Indies Rum installs $1m solar arrayBy Owen Bellwood
The West Indies Rum Distillery is installing a million-dollar solar energy plant to reduce its environmental impact as it eyes carbon-neutrality by 2030.
Owned by Maison Ferrand, West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD) is currently installing the solar plant at its Brighton, St Michael, site.
The installation will reduce the impact and carbon footprint of the producer and is said to be in line with its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Andrew Hassell, managing director of WIRD, said: “We are constantly researching innovative opportunities to further improve sustainable and socially responsible business practices. We also have new and ambitious environmental goals and we are looking at innovative systems in order to stop the use of fossil fuels altogether and to reduce our total energy usage.”
WIRD’s new solar plant is expected to generate an output of more than 400 kilowatts and is estimated to produce 747,000kWh in the first year of operation. The solar array will provide at least 20% of the electrical consumption of the distillery.
The rum producer will also now work with a renewable energy consultant with 30 years’ experience to study, establish and transform the distillery into a carbon-neutral operation within the next 10 years.
Michael Marshall, engineering manager at WIRD, said: “This solar plant is the cornerstone of our green initiatives. Williams Solar of Williams Industries is the company responsible for phase one of this project. The roof structure first had to be replaced, and then the roof sheets had to be replaced. The Williams Solar team are in the process of installing the solar panels.”
The distillery said it also has further plans to assist with the reduction of its carbon emissions, which will go into effect later this year.