Over 250 people recently gathered in Wagga to share stories of on-farm renewables at the inaugural Renewables in Ag Conference. If you missed it, read the wrap up below.
Andrew Chamberlin from QFF’s Energy Savers team spoke about Queensland farmers utilising Solar PV and the potential to optimise energy efficiency and on-farm renewables using microgrid, demand response and Virtual Power Plant technologies.
Maurie Haines from Bundaberg Sugar Services spoke about grid connected 82.5 kW solar irrigation project on a Bundaberg cane farm where an innovative drive system blends solar and grid power to optimise pump usage reducing pumping costs to around $23 per megalitre and consumption of grid power by 78 per cent.
Jarad Smith from the Kia Ora piggery in Victoria which captures biogas from its effluent ponds told the conference about how they use the gas in converted car engines driving small generators throughout the site.
Jon Elder from Narromine already had the most efficient pump, so the next step was to reduce diesel consumption and emissions with the addition of a solar array. He spoke about installing a 500kW PV system allowing his 250kW pump to run eight hours per day on solar, with the generator kicking in as the sun goes down and overnight pumping is required.
Alistair Tulloch from the Tulloch Winery gave a presentation about how they have significantly reduced their energy consumption, by adding 65kW of Solar PV and offsetting the rest of their emissions to gain carbon neutral certification for the business and the products.
Ken Baldwin from Australian National University painted an ambitious view of the future where the scale of renewable energy generation in Australia grows to meet our Asia-Pacific neighbours’ demand for hydrogen and low emissions steel.
While Neil Thompson from ITM Power talked about the future for small scale hydrogen saying, “We have all the energy we need on farm”, referring to a closed loop abattoir approved for the Gladstone region.
Shara Lohrasb from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation told the conference that banks are still offering good rates for farmers upgrading to energy efficient technologies.
Check out the Renewables in Ag Conference presentations HERE.