The MDF has been looking at energy issues in-depth since 2011 as part of an evaluation of the proposed carbon emissions reduction scheme (CPRS) and an investigation of emissions reduction strategies. At the time it was decided that the technology was too expensive, the pay-back period at over fifteen years at the then feed-in tariff rate was too long and at the calculated return on investment there were better projects on the farm to fund. We recommended a wait and see.
However, while the feed-in tariff rate has dropped to 36% of what it was in 2011, the cost of technology has also fallen dramatically. The project all came together when the Board of the MDF was approached by Rocky’s Electrical in mid-2017 to develop a solar project to reduce energy costs at the dairy. Combined with the fall in capital costs, commercial operations are also now able to install large systems to meet their needs and feed surplus power back into the grid. The timing was now right to re-examine the prospect of a solar driven dairy…Information Sheet 13 MDF - The Solar Dairy Oct 2018