Stewart and Lesley Gray of Milton Haugh and West Grange of Conon in Arbroath, have diversified their farm business. They converted their old dairy byres, doing most of the work themselves, making a successful farm shop and cafe which now sells their own and other locally produced products. The Milton Haugh Farm Shop specialises in seasonal vegetables and produce, alongside locally reared meat, poultry, eggs and more specialised goods such as venison, dried fruit, game birds and Aberfeldy Oatmeal, produced locally by Stewart’s son Sandy.
They use a lot of energy in the daytime running their business and – since the beginning of April this year – the electricity at Milton Haugh farm shop has been supported by an 18KW solar PV array. The power the panels produce helps to run the freezers and chillers needed by the businesses and all the heat from the freezers etc goes back into the building’s hot water system. At West Grange of Conon a cold store for potatoes is now utilising high energy savings through the installation of a 30kW system.
Solar panels fitted to the homes of daughter Elizabeth and son Sandy sometimes produce more energy than required, reducing bills and also earning an income through the feed in tariff.
Stewart, his wife Lesley and daughter Elizabeth also set up the Corn Kist Coffee Shop. As he explained: “It was a natural progression to open the coffee shop. We were selling our own produce and other goods we sourced locally, and our customers loved it, so we decided to cut out the middle man, cook it and sell it to them in the coffee shop.”
One Solar installed the PV systems and has given very good service. Rob Wallace was the key contact in both the installation and after care process, co-ordinating the various companies involved and giving faultless aftercare.
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