Sun shines on alpaca farm

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An alpaca and cattle farmer from mid Cornwall is reaping the benefits of renewable energy after investing in solar PV technology.

Su Tune, who has a farm near Roche, was looking for opportunities to make an investment and with interest rates on savings at a record low, she turned to solar power.

Alpaca farmer Su Tune and Solen Energy UK sales and marketing director Kevin Wood

The 33 kw solar photovoltaic system situated on her 250 square metre farm building is one of the first to be fitted by Solen Energy UK, and will not only provide free electricity but generate between £10k and £17k per year through the Government Feed-In Tariff.

Tune said: “It was a prime opportunity. We couldn’t have asked for a better positioning in terms of sunlight, and I liked the idea of being able to create my own power.

“If I had a river on the farm, I would have also invested in hydro-electric power.”

She invested just over £100k on installing the system. While she has relatively low energy consumption for an agricultural business, she expects to receive payback within ten years, and within the next 25 years make a further £150k.

Kevin Wood, sales and marketing director for Solen Energy UK, said: “This was an ideal project for us – the orientation of the roof is such that it is well position to reap solar energy.

“Agricultural buildings provide an excellent opportunity to invest in solar PV because they are spaces that are out of the way and the panels can be earning you money while you work. We also install directly onto farmland, where appropriate.”

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