Farming News - Farmers rewarded for innovative carbon reduction schemes
Farmers rewarded for innovative carbon reduction schemes
Six innovative UK farmers have been awarded a £500 cash prize each for resourceful renewable energy installations at the Energy Now Expo 2017.
Now in their second year, the awards celebrate resourceful farmers, who not only care about alternative energy to fossil fuels, but have successful renewable installations that stack up financially. The hydro award went to Bill Cave, Glenburnie Hydro, Abergavenny, who is over the moon to receive it. “To be given the award for so small a hydro scheme is ground-breaking,” he says.
“With electricity prices on the rise again, the smart money is on generating your own electricity to avoid buying it from a supply company. There is scope for many more such installations if farmers and landowners only realise that such technology is available,” adds Bill.
Receiving the award for AD and Biogas - Dr Stephen Temple - is clear that the government needs to continue to support the industry.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to mankind currently, and we’ve got to do as much as we possibly can to support it,” he says.
Stephen farms a dairy herd of pure pedigree Brown Swiss cows in Wighton, North Norfolk, and much of the milk is used for cheese making. “Done sensibly, renewable installations can be integrated into the whole business and generate a significant income.
“It’s important to recognise the people who have success in renewables, and it can be daunting when you first start out.
“We now have a number of renewable initiatives on the farm, and we use carbon neutral fuel where possible. We installed an AD plant in 2009 and use the cow slurry, whey from the cheese we make, lower quality maize and energy beet. 80% is exported to the grid and the rest is used on the farm. The waste heat from the engine heats the house, office, cheese making, hot water for the dairy, grain drying, three farm cottages and warm drinking water for the cows.
“The future is determined by the politicians - we need their continued support for a low carbon, sustainable future,” adds Stephen.
AD and Biogas
Winner: Dr Stephen Temple, Mrs Temple’s Cheeses / Copys Green Farm
Presenting award: Mike McLaughlin - EnviTec Biogas UK Ltd
Based in Wighton, North Norfolk, ‘Mrs Temple’s Cheeses’ is completely self-sufficient in terms of energy usage, thanks to the installation of a state-of-the-art, on site anaerobic digestion (AD) facility. Taking whey feedstock straight from the production line, alongside slurry, fodder beet and maize silage from the farm’s wider operations, unwanted waste is turned into renewable energy via the AD process.
Winner: Nick Green, Savills
Awarded by: Rob Sherwin, FGE Biomass
There has been a biomass heating system serving West Dean College and 16 neighbouring buildings for 35 years. The heat from the biomass scheme serves 39 buildings, this consists of West Dean College, student accommodation at Dower House, glasshouses, visitor centre and tea room, West Dean Parish Church as well as several houses and cottages.
Winner: William Notcutt - William Notcutt Estates
Awarded by: David Jacobmeyer, Energy Now Expo
The 1.06MW Loudham Lane Solar Farm was developed in 2015 and to date has generated 1,431,408 kW of power. All power generated is exported through to the grid. In addition to the Feed In Tarrif (FIT) payment, a variable export rate is achieved, working in conjunction with LimeJump energy - an aggregating renewable energy supplier. The amount of power produced is sufficient to power 350 mid-sized family homes. In 2016 peak daily production of 7696kW was achieved on 6th June, and at midday this was 879 kW, enough to boil 750 kettles at the same time.
Winner: Bill Cave, Glenburnie Hydro
Awarded by: Alistair Marsden
Glenburnie Hydro is a grid connected ‘Powerspout’ hydro of a size which is usually considered too small to be viable; it generates a maximum of 750 watts; it has been in operation for three years; in the 2015/16 generating year it produced 4,150 kWh. The power generated is used domestically in the house; because the level of power production is modest, all of it gets to be used in house and thus offsets power drawn from the grid to the maximum extent possible.
Winner: Bob Gray, and Jonathan Eagles, Sheepwash Farm, Staffordshire
Awarded by: Nick Hudson, ENERCON GmbH – UK
Arable and Pastoral Operations, the farms primary source of business is producing potatoes to be used in the production of crisps and chips. It also produces wheat for bread making, crushed oil seed rape for vegetable oil and bio diesel. In addition beans are grown which in part are used to feed the beef cattle. It has an annual energy consumption of 500,000kW/a and so is now a net exporter. Since installation in 2016, the turbine has generated 1,800,000kWh and the annual energy production is in the region of 1,457,000kWh/a – that’s enough green energy to power at least 370 domestic properties.
Most carbon neutral scheme
Winner: Mark Green - FM Green
Awarded by: Mike Collison, ESP Energy
The mixed broiler chicken, potato and arable farm has a number of renewable installations to help reduce fossil fuel derived activity. This includes 150kW of solar PV, two 199kW Heizomat biomass boilers running on woodchip to heat two broiler sheds, largely replacing gas heating, 2mW of biomass boilers have been installed on existing grain store to dry grain during the season and to utilise the empty store to dry the woodchip when not needed for grain. The farm grows around 1000 acres of potatoes with a proportion being supplied to Walkers Crisps. Walkers was the first potato company to assess the carbon footprint of growing potatoes and have worked with the Greens and their other growers to achieve a 50% reduction in their carbon footprint.