You say Tomato, I say … massive savings for a thriving agribusiness
In partnership with his sons, Philip and Keith, Jim Atkinson has established one of the largest family run tomato growing operations in Australia on the eastern outskirts of Griffith. The Atkinson family are responsible for supplying Woolworths with many of the truss tomato’s in NSW and Victoria.
Intensive, controlled fruit and vegetable production has always been reliant on significant and reliable power generation, be it gas or electric. The Atkinson’s initially used a mix of gas and electricity to run their operation and the electricity bill was running at over $15,000.00 per month. They knew there was a better way to guarantee power supply, improve efficiencies and lower production costs. And that’s when they turned to Solar Mad.
“We are always looking at ways to grow better tomatoes and run a more effective operation, always looking for an edge” explains Jim Atkinson.
“We believe we’ve stayed ahead of the competition by always moving quickly to adopt new production techniques and technology and our move to solar is another example of this.
“We have guaranteed the supply of power, which is critical in a business that runs 365 days a year, while reducing our electricity bill from over $170,000 a year to virtually nothing in the process.”
The Atkinson’s started with a 100 kilowatt system in 2012 and added another 200 panels in 2014 to increase capacity by a further 50 kilowatts. More is planned for the future.
Mr Atkinson said it was extremely important to find a local supplier that could meet their needs.
“Some of our plant and equipment has been sourced internationally and from interstate and we found service and support has been problematic. It was very important to us to find a local provider who had the expertise and the capacity to manage this significant project and ensure we get the most out of our investment.
“We couldn’t be happier with the result. Solar Mad have been extremely professional and a pleasure to deal with from the very start and remain and important partner for our business.” he said.