Designed by Farmers, for Farmers

According to The Farm Energy Centre over 60% of the energy costs in running a dairy unit are used to remove the heat from milk for refrigeration and then to add heat to water, to wash and clean the plant.

There are a number of technologies Dairy Farmers can deploy to reduce energy costs. These include installing variable speed milk and vacuum pumps and also heat recovery systems. For example, heat exchangers that transfer the heat from freshly extracted milk to provide hot water for cleaning the plant, are just such a smart move to reduce carbon and save costs. The Farm Carbon Toolkit is a great resource for advice and details.

Solar Technologies also play a significant role in reducing energy costs and providing a return on investment. These include:

  • Solar PV deployed on barn roofs to directly generate electricity onsite to operate the plant and refrigeration
  • A Solar Thermal system installed to directly produce hot water for plant and bulk tank cleaning

A dairy milking parlour replacing electricity by using a 100 tube solar thermal system for hot water

System size11.42kWp
Expected annual generation 5,860kWh
Expected Carbon saving3.5tCO2e
Estimated savings in electricity £843 per year
Estimated Generation Tariff (BUS)£562 per year
Estimated annual financial gain£1,405 per year
Initial Rate of Return14.4%
Expected system payback 7.1 years

The economics of Solar PV now means that the investment returns are excellent without the need for subsidies. The table below illustrates the annual generation, cost and average payback period for a commercial solar PV system. The figures below are based on installing on a trapezoidal tin roof, on the cost of electricity cost @30p/kWh and includes scaffolding.

* Please note the figures above are for illustrative purposes only, a full site survey will need to be carried out on your premises and a DNO application will need to be made before works can begin.

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones, a North Wales-based dairy farmer who was seeking to reduce the costs of his energy bills. Dairy farming is a highly energy-intensive process, with milking the cows, cooling the milk and ventilating the cow sheds all requiring significant energy.

Aled approached NFU Energy to conduct an Energy Efficiency Audit to identify some energy savings he could immediately implement. He then used NFU Energy’s Renewable Energy Solutions service to identify an installation partner for solar photovoltaic panels and was introduced to Caplor Energy as an NFU Energy approved partner.

Technologies for Dairy Farming

Farming Carbon Calculator

Interested to know how to calculate carbon for your farm? Have a look at this video that introduces the free carbon calculator tool

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We are thrilled and proud to be working in partnership with such well-respected organisations whose values and culture blend well with ours. We look forward to being able to help consumers and businesses throughout the UK deliver a brighter future through renewable energy.

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