Say cheese: renewable energy in the dairy sector

CleanEarth has recently been on a bit of a spree among the dairy farms of southern England.

In the last few months we’ve completed eight installations in Cornwall alone. A couple of miles down the road from CleanEarth HQ we fitted a 56 kW rooftop system at Higher Carruan Farm in Polzeath. At the other end of Cornwall a similar sized installation went into Boscarne Farm near Lands End.

At the larger end of the scale, Rydon Farm in Woodbury trebled the size of a system that we’d installed six years ago. Mark Glanville, owner of Rydon Farm said, “Solar has been a no-brainer for us. We started with a 50 kW system back in 2017 and have recently increased our capacity to 160 kW.”

Rydon Farm

With several large cowsheds with south-facing roofs, Mark’s premises are ideal for solar panels. And the energy demands of the farm’s milking and processing equipment make a compelling business case for self-generation. Rydon Farm’s solar power is costing them around 5p per kWh – a fraction of the price they pay for electricity from the grid.

Barn roofs are not the only asset that dairy farms can exploit in the pursuit of renewable energy. An acre or two of lower yield pasture can be used for a ground-mount system as well.

Trenake Manor Farm in Looe took exactly this option when they commissioned us to install their 200 kW system in a field adjacent to the main farm.

Trenake Manor Farm

Ground-mount installations do need to clear the additional hurdle of planning consent, but CleanEarth has plenty of experience in this – from our many wind projects as well as solar. And ground-mount often brings higher yields than rooftop because panel angle and aspect can be optimised more easily.

With well over half a megawatt installed across our recent West Country projects, we’re proud to be helping the region’s dairy farms save money and reduce their carbon emissions.


Contact us for a free site survey and energy audit for your business, get in touch today.

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