Dairy farmers, John and Marguerite Ryan, run a busy dairy farm in Gortnahoe, Thurles, Tipperary. They were spending upwards of €500 a month on electricity alone. Milking 130 cows twice daily, washing out milking machines and lighting the parlour were major drains on power on the family farm.
It all started at the Energy Expo event in Kilkenny when John called to Solar Electric’s stand to inquire about the Solar PV system. The team at 3 Counties Energy Agency coordinated the entire BEC application from the initial energy audit, procurement to warranty checks and all required paperwork.
With a lifetime expectance of 25 years the expected pay-back time is just 5 to 6 years. Solar Electric were the specialist installation company and they had the panels up in a day, the wiring, installing the Sonnen storage batteries and other bits took about a day and a half and there was absolutely no interruption to work or life on the farm. Any surplus electricity generated can power the home so it’s definitely a win/win.
We expect more family farms and other farm enterprises will follow in the footsteps of John and Marguerite Ryan and their J&M Dairies business and invest in 9kWp Solar PV and innovative Sonnen Battery systems to supplement their on-site energy usage under the SEAI Better Energy Communities Programme.
Thanks to the installation of PV panels, J&M Dairies saved money and reduced its carbon footprint through the BEC 2018 Programme.
The installation of PV panels on the roof of one farm building, with a battery storage system, has led to a reduction in grid imported electricity on the site.