Co. Kilkenny farmer installs renewable solar energy to reduce parlour energy costs

Having farmed in Coolcullen, North Co. Kilkenny all his life, Francis Nolan is a new entrant to dairying since 2013. With three small children, Francis is always open to embracing new technology and adopting sustainable farming practices to future-proof his farm.

As a Glanbia Ireland milk supplier, Francis recently decided to install a FarmGen Solar PV system on his 70ha farm, with a view to reducing long-term energy costs from his 130-cow dairy herd.

Speaking about his decision to move to solar energy for his milking parlour, Francis said: “It’s a no brainer for me as I can produce energy off the top of my shed and it’s going to pay back.”

Launched by Glanbia Ireland earlier this year, in partnership with SSE Airtricity and Activ8 Solar Energies, FarmGen is a renewable solar energy solution. This solar-powered bundle combines the collective knowledge, experience and expertise of all parties to bring a turn-key, solar-powered energy solution to Glanbia Ireland farmers.

This technology will help farmers grow their business sustainably into the future, while improving energy efficiency on farm and reducing bills.

Commenting on the future use of on-farm renewable energy solutions, Francis said: “Every farmer is going to have some form of renewable energy going forward, especially with carbon tax coming down the road.”

FarmGen’s 6Kw Solar PV system is helping to power energy intensive processes on the Nolan farm, reducing the costs of milk cooling, vacuum pumps and water heating. Combined, these three processes typically account for around 80% of total milk parlour energy consumption.

In addition to these financial benefits, the system will monitor energy generation and consumption in real-time, helping farmers understand where and when energy is consumed; therefore, assisting them to adapt behaviours that will not only reduce energy costs, but also improve sustainability.

Discussing the sustainability benefits, Francis commented, saying: “There is a bit of a feel-good factor to the FarmGen Solar Power Bundle, as it’s renewable energy and you feel you’re doing your bit for the environment.”

FarmGen benefits

Solar PV

There are a number of key benefits the FarmGen Solar Power Bundle solution brings to farmers.

FarmGen programme manager, Damien Sutton, from Glanbia Ireland, speaks in the video (below) about the cost efficiencies FarmGen can enable by reducing energy bills and powering farms through on-site renewable generation.

Smart monitoring

Smart meters will enable farmers to better understand their energy generation and consumption and how they can adapt behaviour to drive further savings.

Export meter

Export meters will future-proof farms for upcoming feed-in tariffs, enabling them to sell excess generation back to the electricity grid.

Preferential rates and 100% green energy

FarmGen customers, who switch to SSE Airtricity, will be supplied by 100%* green energy at exclusive preferential rates, that will further reduce their carbon footprint.

Fully funded solution

The solutions available to Glanbia Ireland farmers through the FundEquip scheme make it possible for farmers to receive competitively priced finance for this product offering.

Express your interest in FarmGen today

This solar power solution is open to all farming sectors and sizes, with customised commercial packages available and, importantly, there are also options available for those who wish to install solar PV in their homes to harness the power of green energy.

Glanbia Ireland farmers who wish to register their interest for this product can phone: 1890-928-889; alternatively, you can visit: www.farmgen.ie; or drop into a Glanbia Ireland branch to pick up an expression of interest form.

  1. *100% green energy is based on Fuel Mix Disclosure and CO2 emissions for 2018, published by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), September 2019. For more information visit: sseairtricity.com/greenenergy.