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Wilandra Smart Power Project

Wilandra-farm-organic-milk-farmers- energy-sustainability

Energy Usage

In 2019 we had an energy audit completed, that gave us detailed information about where we use energy, and opportunities to reduce power usage. That audit also gave us a desire to generate our own power and to reduce our reliance on traditional energy sources that have a significant carbon footprint.

 

At that time, our irrigation and dairy operations were using about 500,000kW of energy a year.  Since that time, we have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce power usage, such as replacing a 500m pipeline to reduce friction loss. A new bore pump was installed and those two improvements at that site were estimated to reduce power use by about 37% at that pumping site.

With the assistance of a grant from Agriculture Victoria’s Energy Investment Plan, and by partnering with Alternate Energy Innovations from Morwell (AEI) we’re implementing a major project in relation to power usage and alternate energy.

Key elements in our Smart Energy Project for Sustainable Farming:

  • Installation of 200kw of solar panels

  • Installation of 2, 15kW wind turbines

 

  • Installation of 54 kWh of batteries

 

  • Development – by AEI - and implementation of an energy management system that will match equipment operations to availability of alternate energy. This will address one of the major problems with alternate energy, in that power is often not reliably available when equipment needs energy

 

  • Variable speed drives to be installed on pumps so they can operate with low levels of power

  • A farm micro grid trial - power produced at one point will go in to the grid, and be used at other points on the farm, meaning we don’t need to produce alternate energy at each point of use

  • A community trial of live pricing. This trial, across 10 farms that use electricity to pump irrigation water, will investigate the feasibility of remotely controlling pumps, according to the current price of power

  • In the dairy, there’s a number of changes to be made to reduce power required and to make better use of the solar power we already generate with our existing 29kW solar system. For example changes will be made to the systems used for chilling milk and the heating of hot water.

Wilandra Farm organic milk farmer & supp

There will be opportunities to visit the farm once the Smart Power Project is complete, and a project report will be available in 2022.

Like to learn more about our

Smart Power Project