Vivad invests in solar

Melbourne based large format printer Vivad is now using solar power, having installed 400 panels on its roof with a capacity of 100kwh.

The move follows from the company upgrading its equipment, having installed a new Durst Rho 512R Plus UV inkjet press and the country’s first Bullmer 5m cutting table in the past month.

Ewen Donaldson, owner and managing director of Vivad says, “We bought the panels on a seven year buy back plan. We are hoping to save around $2,400 a month. That was a main motivator but also there is the issue of power stability and we all like the idea of being greener.

“The panels cover half the roof, there is still plenty of space up there. We could probably install another 200kwh worth.

“In the spirit of being progressive, perhaps we will be able to invest in batteries when it is more feasible. It is definitely not a step back. It remains to be seen how this pans out. There are many manufacturing companies now making the move.

[Related: Vivad invests in Durst]

“Unfortunately with solar you are only producing energy when the sun shines. Our production needs are from 5am to 10pm at night. We are not off the grid yet but when batteries are more affordable, that could be more accessible.

“We bought the building three years ago and all that space up on the roof was crying out for it. I have wanted to do it since we bought the building, but we had our priorities and it is a big upfront investment. We are basically pre paying our power or part of it for the next seven years, but if it is free after that. I probably have been looking into it seriously for about two years.

“We have promoted it on LinkedIn and Facebook and the response has been positive. We will be looking to promote the panels through our website and our EDMs. It does promote Vivad as a greener company to deal with.

“We are planning for the next seven or 20 years and owning the building makes it easier for us to take advantage of solar and it is a good thing. Increasingly, people buying print are looking to deal with greener companies.”

Vivad was established by Donaldson in 2000 and now employs around 30 staff.

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