Installation of 250kWp Solar PV system for on-site energy use. The project was supported by the Better Energy Communities (BEC) grant scheme.
O’Shea Farms supply fresh produce to supermarkets across the country resulting in a year round electricity demand for refrigerated cold storage and grading equipment at their site.
The chosen solution for O’Shea farmers was to meet their base load demand with the installation of 250kWp solar photovoltaic system for the following reasons:
o Solar energy coincides with energy needs for cooling during the summer months. Therefore, a solar PV System can provide an effective solution to supply energy during peak demands especially in hot summer months where energy demand is high.
- Solar power generation is carbon neutral hence; it will firmly ground O’Shea Farms’ sustainable practice credentials.
- Solar power generation does not require a primary energy source attributed with conventional power generation methods. Therefore, it reduces O’Shea Farms’ exposure to fluctuating energy prices.
- Solar power generation requires little to no operational and maintenance costs compared to other renewable energy technologies.
O’Shea Farms engaged with 3CEA to develop the renewable energy project at their site. 3CEA were successful in applying for 20% grant funding towards the capital cost of the solar PV project at O’Shea Farms from the SEAI.
BEC Scheme overview
The BEC scheme is Ireland’s national retrofit initiative aimed at upgrading building stock and facilities to high standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Total BEC Annual budgets vary but are in the region of €20 million to €30m.
For the O’Shea Farms Solar PV project:
- Total project cost €287,500
- BEC Grant amount €57,500
Evidence of success
The installed system provides approx. 11% of the total electricity demand for the farm.
Annual energy generated = 210,000 kWh
Annual savings = € 27,000
Annual CO2 savings = 39 tonnes
Potential for learning or transfer
The BEC scheme evolves each year. However there remains significant potential for improvement through continuous assessment, and therefore also potential for learning and knowledge transfer.
Tags: Agriculture, Community, Renewables