30kw solar install for Ceres Distilling Co


PV Solar System

Energy Efficiency

30kW Solar System


Sunpower Performance Panels

Fronius Primo String Inverter

Fronius 3-Phase Energy Meter


Ceres Distilling Co

Completion Date: 06 February 2023

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The challenge

Ross Johnston is the owner of Ceres Distilling Co., a craft vodka and gin distillery in Geelong, Victoria.

As a family business, Ross wanted to develop his site in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Water and energy consumption were important considerations. Ross also made substantial use of recyclable and sustainable construction materials.

In order to obtain a planning permit, Ross had to ensure the building could generate sufficient power to cover all heating and cooling requirements.

A solar system was the obvious choice. Ross contacted City to Surf Solar, and our solutions specialist, Raj Nawaratna, responded quickly with an affordable solution that met his needs.

Our solution

We installed a 30kW solar system on the roof of the distillery, nine meters above ground level, using a scissor hoist to lift the components. Then we ran cables internally to the inverter and switchboard. Installation took just three days.

The system includes 78 SunPower Performance Panels, and a Sungrow 30kW inverter. The inverter was positioned next to the customer-facing area of the distillery.

City to Surf Solar managed the entire process, including Ross’ application for a government rebate. We also provided a diagram of the roof configuration, and the anticipated results from our solution.

In addition, we provided a convenient app that lets Ross know how much power is being generated, consumed, and fed back to the grid at any time.

The result

The distillery requires a substantial amount of energy to power the stills, chillers, and kitchen. So solar was a logical solution to lower Ross’ energy costs and reduce his impact on the environment. Ross was delighted with the outcome. 30 kilowatts of solar power is more than the distillery consumes on average – a good result for the planet.

Customer Feedback

“The people we dealt with were good. They’re reliable. The workmanship was inspected by a third-party, and I checked it myself too – it was all fine. We had one hitch – a connection got some water into it, presumably through rain. They fixed that, and we haven’t had a problem since.”

Ross Johnston

Owner – Ceres Distilling Co Pty Ltd

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