Internationally renowned and trusted grass-fed dairy products, grown on New Zealand’s beautiful rural landscape account for a quarter of New Zealand’s exports by value. Producing the milk for those products is an electricity intensive process.
Solagri Energy, a Canterbury-based business has built an innovative renewable energy company to serve this dynamic sector of our economy, a company which is powered by the sun and the land, and which will support New Zealand’s dairy farmers towards sustainability and profitability.
Over the past 4 years, Solagri has worked with farmers and engineers to build and refine a solar solution optimised for New Zealand dairy farm operations. Solagri Energy’s capital-free solution means farmers can have an innovative state-of-the-art grid-connected solar generation system without the significant upfront cost.
“The technology is advanced, but the model is pretty simple,” says managing director Peter Saunders. “Farmers provide us with a small parcel of land, about a quarter of a hectare, where we build the solar array.
In return, they receive solar electricity generated on their own farm at a fixed price for 20 years. There is zero capital cost to the farmer, any unused power will supply the local grid.”
Solagri are currently working on the development of their battery energy management system. Having recently received Callaghan Innovation funding, they expect to have batteries as a standard part of the offering within the next 12-18 months.
“The inclusion of batteries will improve the efficiency of solar and enable us to store electricity from the grid for use in the shed during the morning milking. They will also make the farm far more energy resilient with the shed being able to continue milking when the power goes down,” says Saunders.
Solagri is a New Zealand based solar generation company that builds and operates solar arrays on rural properties
Dairy farmer Richard Stalker, whose dairy shed has been running powered by the Solagri pilot solar and battery system for the past eighteen months says “Solagri’s system isn’t just good for our bottom line, it also enhances our farm’s sustainability and resilience.”
Each system is sized specifically for the dairy shed it serves to ensure sufficient generation. The systems are installed on a unique solar racking system ensuring fast, efficient installation.
Because the systems are ground mounted, no building permit is required and Solagri takes care of every detail right down to fencing off the array for safety. …….