case study

Jones Food Company

Capacity: 164.16kWp
Installation date: October 2018

Jones Food Company is committed to growing locally so that fresh produce can be delivered from harvest to plate in minimal time. They grow using cutting edge commercial hydroponics to produce crops in a fully controlled environment monitored consistently 365 days a year ideal for food production as well as growing high quality pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients. By adopting these growing techniques, they dramatically reduce their environmental impact whilst being able to achieve increased yields and crop cycles.

In June 2018, Jones Food Company made the decision to have a fully funded solar PV system installed at their office in Scunthorpe by Zestec Asset Management (Zestec) and our partner Oakapple Renewable Energy (OARE). Their brief was to install an optimal sized solar PV system based on their on-site electricity consumption which delivered the maximum potential savings in their electricity costs and carbon emission reductions in the short and long term.

Image: HLC Creative

Under Zestec’s power purchase agreement (PPA) scheme, Jones Food Company will:

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Reduce their electricity grid tariff by 9% for the solar energy generated and consumed on site

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Reduce total annual electricity bill by c.13%

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Displace c. 52.9 Tonnes of CO2e each year

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Achieve forecast savings of c.£223k over the 25-year lease term

As a recently established business, Jones Foods Company and Zestec faced a number of challenges in being able to structure an acceptable third-party investor funded project, including:

• No historical on-site electricity consumption
• Limited trading & financial accounting history
• Complexities associated with lac of capacity on the local electricity network

Having successfully navigated through the above challenges we supported Jones Food Company in their commitment to optimising their environmental footprint. Generating and consuming energy from sustainable sources was a key factor in their decision to install a solar PV system, allowing them to act responsibly and bring value to their stakeholders.

After completion of a detailed technical survey and due diligence, Zestec’s partner, OARE designed and installed a 164.16kWp solar PV system using QCells solar modules and Solis inverters.

Because Jones Food Company wanted to maximise the forecast energy savings, they needed to work with a partner who utilised the best technology available, had extensive expertise and offered a long-term, hassle free, innovative, financing and actively managed renewable energy solution.

James Lloyd Jones, Managing Director and Co-Founder for Jones Food Company, commented;

“It has been a pleasure to work with Zestec and the Investment Partner on this project, our first fully funded Solar PV system. Throughout the entire process we have been kept informed and been treated with total transparency. Our high-quality system is forecast to provide c.£225k of electricity cost savings during the term of the lease. I would not hesitate to recommend Zestec and the wider team.”

Now complete, 100% of the solar energy generated onsite will be consumed by Jones Food Company, expected to be around 150,471 kWh per year.

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We asked James Lloyd Jones some questions about the experience with Zestec:

1. What challenges or needs did you face in your industry that led you to look for a solution like ours?

Vertical farming is the most sustainable method for growing produce and we have to make sure that the electricity we use on site is also generated from sustainable means.

2. Describe your selection process and what criteria you were looking for. How did you go about searching for a solution?

We were recommended to approach Zestec by one of our investors.

3. Why did you choose our company over the competition? 

We chose Zestec based on how proactive they were and quick to get started with the project.

4. What would you tell others who might be considering our product?

I would recommend Zestec to other businesses looking for the full-turnkey solution.

5. Would you recommend our solution to your peers?

Although considerably cheaper these days, the investment of a large solar installation like ours was something we couldn’t afford in the early stages of the company. Zestec provided an affordable solution for us to take advantage of.    

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