The farm, near Mareeba, produces bananas, avocadoes and mangoes and is irrigated year-round depending on rainfall. Water is supplied from an on-site irrigation dam and is replenished from the Tinaroo irrigation scheme channel system.
It is a large site consuming 45,000kWh/year at a cost of $11,000, covering an area of 46 ha.
The infrastructure contributing to the energy consumption onsite consists of:
- A large, old mine pump that came with the property of an unknown size
- A large packing shed with sorting equipment
- A cold room that was being installed at the time of the audit
A recent energy audit showed how improving the current systems can lead to energy and cost savings. The energy audit recommended the following changes to improve efficiency and reduce costs:
- Replacing the main irrigation pump of unknown size with a 45-55kW pump to improve the efficiency of the irrigation system.
- Installing a 20kW ground-mounted solar system at the main irrigation pump.
Table 1. Energy and cost savings from audit recommendations
||Annual Energy Savings (kWh)
||Annual Cost Savings ($)
||Emission Savings (tCO2-e)
||Capital Cost ($)
||Payback Period (years)
|20kW Solar System
Following the audit report recommendations, the grower did not proceed with any projects due to other business pressures.
By installing the recommendations in the audit, the business could reduce energy consumption by 62% and costs by 75%, with carbon emission savings of 22.4 tCO2-e per year.
Table 2. Pre and post audit energy consumption, costs, and energy productivity savings
|Energy Consumption (kWh)
|Energy Productivity (kWh/ha)
An energy audit is a good investment
An energy audit is a great first step in moving a business towards a more efficient future by reducing energy use, costs and carbon emissions onsite.
An energy auditor will review your past energy bills, your equipment and the way your business operates. They’ll show you where you’re using excess energy and explain what you can do about it. Find out about what’s involved in an energy audit HERE.
See our range of agricultural energy efficiency case studies HERE and Subscribe to our bi-monthly energy e-news HERE
If you have any energy efficiency related questions for the team get in touch at email@example.com.
The Energy Savers Plus Extension Program is delivered by the Queensland Farmers Federation with support and funding from the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works.