Kobashi Essential Oils has taken one step closer to achieving its owners’ dream of 100% self sufficiency after installing a 61kWp ground-mount array.

The essential oil producer installed the solar array at its farm and warehouse based on the outskirts of Dartmoor National Park in Dunsford. The owners, Scott and Lynda Ballard, already had 10kWp and 4kWp solar arrays installed back in 2011 by SunGift and have turned to the solar installer once more for their ground-mounted array.  

“Since around 2000, I have been interested in renewable energy options,” said Scott Ballard. “Growing up in America in the 1970s witnessing the fights at the pumps when the fuel ran out and living in air polluted cities LA and NYC taught me that relying on fossil fuels was not an option. Lynda and I believe wherever and whenever we can, we should create our own sustainable cleaner energy.”

The solar installations have dramatically lowered the Kobashi Essential Oil’s operating costs; the company has exported over 81,000kWh back to the grid over what they use onsite – enough to power 24.63 average homes a year.

In addition to the solar installs, the Ballards have invested in a range of energy saving measures including solar thermal, energy efficiency measures and LED lighting. Scott Ballard explained: “The building was modified to withstand hot summers and arctic winters.”

The ground-mount array uses Trina’s Honey modules alongside SolarMax inverters. SunGift estimates that the solar array will payback extremely quickly giving the couple a return on investment of 17.4% a year.