In April BBC News reported that family-run Blaencamel Farm at Aberaeron in Ceredigion has become one of Wales’ first carbon neutral farms, generating its own electricity from solar power.
It is now able to produce enough power to run the farmhouse, shop and farm and actually generates 80% more electricity than it needs, selling the surplus electricity back into the National Grid under a feed-in tariff scheme.
Solar irrigation is to be introduced and the farmer, Peter Segger, is now building an electric tractor, which will be powered by renewable energy.
This week the Farmers Guardian also featured the ‘pioneering organic vegetable’ Blaencamel Farm, linking it to the ever-rising price of diesel, petrol, gas and electricity which will make potential energy cost saving avenues, key technical topics at the forthcoming Royal Welsh Show.
It noted that on-farm systems – harnessing the power of the wind, water, sun or anaerobic digestion – are being installed in increasing numbers.
More detail was given:
“So far the panels have enabled the farm to modify its solar irrigation system using renewable energy to pump water around its 20 hectares (50 acres) of crops and an acre of greenhouses.
“Electricity generated by the panels is also being used to help develop a new range of food products, including an award-winning relish and preserve.
“It is also hoped to have the farm’s current diesel tractor converted – making Blaencamel the first farm in Wales to have an electric tractor run from solar electricity.”
Advice was given by Machynlleth-based Dulas, one of the UK’s oldest renewable energy providers, who later installed the panels.