One of the UK's largest solar PV projects has been installed on a poultry enterprise in the Midlands, at a cost of £1.2m.
More than 2,300 solar panels stretching a distance of 210m were installed at two sites belonging to poultry farmer Edward. The scheme included a 150m long ground array of 1,200 panels at Comberton Farm, in Ludlow, Shropshire, and a further 60m spread of 1,100 panels spanning three poultry sheds at Cottage Farm, in Powys.
Andy Boroughs, managing director of Organic Energy, distributors of solar PV panels who equipped the project, described it as one of the biggest of its kind. "The Ludlow site is the single biggest installation ever created in Shropshire and we believe the Powys array is probably the largest in Mid Wales too," he said.
Boroughs said the installation had already exceeded predicted results. "On current reading, the system has reduced electricity usage at the sites by 65% and the installation has exceeded its predicted energy capture by 10%," he added.
Installer, Martin Dowley of renewable energy company 7 Energy, said in total the sites produce approximately 433,472kWh each year. As the average poultry house uses between 3,000-4,800kWh per annum he predicted the whole system could generate enough power for as many as 144 homes.
It took a year in the planning stage, but once permission was granted and the groundwork was completed, the installations were finished within four weeks and just in time to beat the FIT (Feed in Tariffs) deadline.
Within eight years the build should start to pay for itself, generating 30.7pence/kWh of electricity produced.
Source: Poultry World FWi