A FRDS field day was held at Ashgrove Farms “Hawthorn” property to officially launch the farm’s mini hydro scheme. This mini hydro is Tasmania’s first grid connect mini-hydro scheme running from an irrigation dam outlet. The system was designed and installed by Darren Cooper from Degree C and has been funded as a pilot project by Degree C and Ashgrove Farms.
From preliminary estimates, the Ashgrove Farms mini-hydro site will cover approximately 45-50% of the dairy shed energy costs, when the turbines are operating at full capacity. Paul Bennett from Ashgrove Farms invested in the project because he believes there are good opportunities for farmers to offset increasing energy costs – if they have the right renewable energy site. Having a good site is the critical component for any renewable energy project. An excellent understanding of the retail and wholesale energy market isalso essential to determine site viability.
At the field day, Paul Bennett gave an overview of Ashgrove Farms dairying operation and commented “This isn’t something we ever planned for when we built the dam – as energy costs increase and the technologies improve, we hope there will be more opportunities like this for farmers”.
Apr 18, 2012