Farm Power

Grow Your Profit

Agricultural Solar Power Systems

 

Solar Power can make perfect sense for agricultural businesses and farms, when the considerable power is consumed during daylight hours. In many cases, agricultural solar energy installation can be another way to increase profitability through savings on power expenses.

Often facilities such as dairy machinery, refrigeration, irrigation pumps, heating, or lighting can justify an initial investment in a solar power array system.

Agricultural solar systems are still grid tied, just larger, normally starting at 10kW, going up to several hundred kW’s. The system is designed specifically for your site based on load data which we log at your premises, generally for up to 7 days.

 

It’s important to start by matching the system size to the load demand as best as possible. From there we can work with you to understand your load better and design any optimisations or shift your load to better suit the production curve of the solar. Generally, this will be done via ongoing monitoring of the load as well as the PV production. 

%

Return On Investment*

+ 5 Year Payback*

*Our outright purchased agricultural solar systems frequently achieve a 20% annual ROI, and can gain payback as low as 5 years—then it’s virtually

FREE ENERGY!

Does your farm have a moderate to heavy daytime power consumption? Farms often gain a significant return on investment achieved through savings on daytime energy expenditure.

Some of our agricultural solar installations are achieving power bill savings big enough to effectively pay for themselves within as little as 5 years.

Invest Now!

The sooner you invest, the sooner the returns and greater the savings.

Accurate, Customised Data Prediction

In order to design the optimal system, we analyse your site, your power consumption and even the way your farm operates. To do this we collect real-time, local data on sunshine hours, angles, etc., to best position and spec the array and system.  Our experience and the data technology we use enable us to give an accurate projection on performance metrics—so you can make an informed decision and, if you decide to go solar, we’ll be able to design the optimal system.

Actual Data Example

This graph shows actual results on a dairy farm we installed in Canterbury.

Light orange (left) was our prediction,

Dark orange & lined (right) was actual production—averaging just above predicted.

Dark orange (right lower) was actual consumption—lower than production.

(click graph to enlarge)

In this case, solar production was greater each month than power consumed, resulting in maximum energy bill savings, plus a supplementary income from power exported to the grid.

 

How Solar is Financed

Three supply options for better capital investment

 

Concerned that the capital invested on a solar installation would provide better returns if it was invested directly into your farm?

We offer three supply options to offset this and to accommodate different agricultural streams. Talk to us—we’ll work with you to establish which is going to be the best option for your farm.

Purchase

Lease

PPA

Purchasing the system outright is the most straightforward option and yields the greatest potential gains. You pay upfront for the entire agricultural solar PV system. Any finance is arranged by you, or Sunergy can provide finance .

Advantages

  • Effectively have a free electricity supply once the system is paid off
  • Maximise return if not utilising a “middle man” financier
  • Obtain the best pricing by paying upfront
  • System is depreciable at circa 17% P.A. providing a good tax credit
  • Retain control of your system as the energy market, power prices and technology changes

Disadvantages

  • Up front capital expense
  • Finance costs if borrowing is required
  • Any opportunity cost of what else might be achieved if the capital was invested elsewhere

The Agricultural Solar PV system is funded via our Lease Company and a contract is entered into in the same way you would lease a vehicle.

The term and monthly payments are negotiable as is the option to lease to buy, however, typically we work on a 10-year term with a further 1 x 10 year right of renewal, based on the system having an expected life expectancy exceeding 40 years. The customer pays for insurance and maintenance.

Advantages

  • No upfront capital cost
  • The lease is a fixed cost every month, not affected by power production or usage
  • Lease payments are a deductible expense just like your monthly power bill
  • You effectively lock in or hedge the cost of a portion of your power for the term of the lease

Disadvantages

  • You do not retain ownership of the asset
  • Overall savings will never equal that of an outright purchase
  • You are committed to the installed technology for the term of the lease

A Power Purchase Agreement is where the Agricultural solar PV system is installed on a property or building but does not belong to the occupier/property owner, nor does the occupier/property owner have any control over it.

The power produced by the solar PV system is sold to the occupier of the property, usually at a reduced rate compared to what their existing retailer is charging. There are several ways of invoicing each month, which are negotiable to suit, but essentially a PPA is a contract to purchase power from one supplier at an agreed rate, usually with price increases built in, for a long term.

Advantages

  • No upfront capital cost
  • PPA power bill is a deductible expense just like your monthly power bill
  • You effectively lock in or hedge the cost of a portion of your power
  • Maintenance and insurance costs are borne by the supplier

Disadvantages

  • You are paying a premium to cover the cost of administering the PPA
  • Depending on the contract entered into, the price of power produced may go up
  • You are locked in regardless of what happens to the energy industry
  • You have no control over the asset
  • Regardless of what energy saving measures you initiate, you still pay per kWh of power produced / used so will likely not maximise savings or self-generated consumption
  • What happens in the event the supplier closes down or liquidates?

Not sure? Get in touch to discuss which option could make solar a viable option for your farm.

Some of our Agricultural solar Installations

Oaklands Dairy Farm, Nelson

Slee Farm Canterbury

Implement shed, Canterbury

Dairy Farm Winton

Dairy Farm, Canterbury

Dairy Farm Mahino

Pig Farm, Canterbury

Weedons Poultry Farm

Feedback from the Farm

Find out how solar can work for your farm

Why not book a free in-depth assessment of your farm and situation. We use real, accurate data to help you make an informed decision.  Start saving on power bills sooner!