Tafeda installs solar panels

Nowra based paper texture specialist Tafeda is the latest print industry business to switch to solar energy, having installed 37 panels on their roof.

Teresa Del Castillo, marketing manager for Tafeda says, “There is the constant going up of electricity and not knowing where it is ending. Secondly, we are currently waste free: recycling, reusing pallets and cartons, and we have customers bring back as many products as possible, and we are also using LED lights. We want to reduce waste and help with global warming.

“Our roof is in a good area that is northern facing with lots of sunlight so we can have a good use for that energy. One side faces north, another south and they slope. We have only used a third of that space so we could still have more panels that face north in the future. We hope to be self efficient eventually so we will see if we decide to install more panels or if we want to have batteries and store the energy we are creating, whatever is more convenient.

“We are putting more energy into the grid than we are using right now. It is helping the electricity company and we are seeing the economic benefits there, not straight away as it is an investment over five years. We are excited to see how it goes.

[Related: Solar saves ICP third off energy bills]

“Our business involves craftmanship, adding texture to paper and embellishing it. We try to provide good service and finish each job in 24 hours. We always use up to 10 sheets for each job and we reuse every carton and pallet if possible. We also reuse packaging material and we reuse some of our paper and cut it into A4 sheets for samples.

“It is fantastic to see how much energy is being harvested. We have more energy in summer, in winter we will probably have less.

“There are 39 panels, with 270 kilowatts capacity. This is enough for us for now, coming into Christmas and New Years when we are closing down. When we are working next year, we will not have enough energy to use, which is why we need a battery. But it is expensive, so we are doing it in steps rather than one big hit.

“With the panels, we were able to support local business. It was a young entrepreneur partnered with another business who set it up. We are always happy to help locals.

“If the panels help our image, that is a bonus but it is not our purpose. We did it because it is the right thing to do. If customers see that we are using renewable energy and are excited about that, that is great.

[Related: Excel Australasia installs solar panels]

 “My husband Fernando owns the business and he has been running it since 1998. He started designing and building machines as a hobby and then he did an apprenticeship. We bought the land and built the factory and in 2003, we launched our business to printers, because before only the paper mills knew it. Since then it has been a slow process, establishing our business in the market which was new to Australia. It is hard to explain because it is a specialist business, putting texture in the whole surface of the paper.

“The company started in 1996, but it was only an engineering service provider. Paper embossing was a side project. Our paper making and knowledge started from there. We became a service provider to emboss the surface of paper. In 2010, we rebranded and remarketed ourselves to graphics companies and marketing services. Our top priority is to give the best service as quick as possible.

We work with designers to give a more bold or subtle effect and we work to achieve what they want. We have a lot of knowledge of paper and the printing industry, and we can enhance it and work around what is desired. No matter the kind of job, we cater to anything. We are trying to remove limitations for designers and printers with textured paper.”

Tafeda is the latest in a growing list of companies installing solar, with Excel Australasia doing the same last month, and ICP sharing details of its huge energy savings over the past year since it went solar.

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