Solar a “no-brainer” for Victorian dairy co-op – batteries next

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Macalister Demonstration Farm says 61kW solar install will pay for itself in six years – and opens the door for new benefits and greater productivity.

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A dairy farming co-operative in eastern Victoria has installed a 61kW ground-mounted solar system, and is considering plans to add Tesla battery storage, as it seeks to cut grid power consumption and change the way it thinks about energy.

The Macalister Demonstration Farm, in Riverslea, near Maffra, is a commercial dairy farm focused on using science and demonstration to stimulate the take-up of innovative practices to boost productivity and profitability.

First established in 1960, the co-op’s board had weighed up adding solar almost 10 years ago, but after being approached by a local Gippsland installer earlier this year, they determined the timing and the economics to be right.

“The quality of the technology, the cost of the technology and more importantly, access to finance, these three things have come together beautifully and made this a no brainer,” said MDF Chairman, Neil Baker.

As the MDF 2018 Annual Report notes, the brief to installer Rockys Solar was to design a system that delivered a power bill for the dairy of $0.00, or as close to, while also cutting its carbon footprint.

The upshot was a 61.38kW ground mounted solar system, sited in the old hay-shed paddock, made up of 186 premium Tier 1 Jinko Solar panels and two 27.5kW ABB Inverters.

Read the full story on RenewEconomy sister site, One Step Off The Grid…

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