Nottinghamshire renewable energy company Geo Green Power are shortlisted for an Industry Oscar at next month’s Solar Power & Storage Awards in Birmingham!
The Midlands based renewable energy company are in the running for Commercial Project of the Year for their hybrid installation at North Nottingham’s RT Farms. The project combines solar power and the UK’s largest ground source heat pump installation which together have the potential to save almost 500 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Geo Green Power have worked alongside RT Farms for many years, completing solar installations which provide renewable energy for the business and take advantage of the feed in tariff payments available at the time. When the grid offered a 1.5MW export connection the feed in tariff was set to reduce so Geo Green Power used their experience of solar PV and ground source heat pump technology to create a suitable scheme for the business.
Kitty Cunningham, Operations Director, explained: “Our plan was to increase solar production, remove the need for LPG which was previously used for heating and drying on the farm and make the scheme eligible for the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. Our installation means the 2,500 acre farm business has increased solar output, use their 1.5MW connection profitably and transfer even more of the farm’s operation onto renewable energy.”
As RT Farms prides itself on its sustainable farming credentials, this move away from fossil fuels is a crucial milestone.
RT Farms’ James Thomas added: “Geo Green Power have designed an intelligent system to barn dry agricultural crops with renewable heat. The system prioritises the use of our solar PV generated electricity and reduces the higher cost, imported electricity from the grid.
“When we are not drying crops, during the winter, generated heat is re-directed to a district heating system within our traditional farm buildings for climate-controlled storage and working areas.
“Geo Green Power took a very thorough and detailed approach to this system and we continue to work alongside them to meet our ever-evolving requirements within our business.”
Delivering on the Investment
The 250kW solar PV system generates approximately 225,000kWh of electricity per annum. This power is programmed to feed the ground source heat pump system directly and any surplus can either be consumed elsewhere around the site or exported to the grid.
Multiplying Solar PV energy into 1,000,000kWh of useful heat
The ground source heat pump system efficiently and effectively multiplies the electrical energy input to the power of 4. The system sources heat from the ground and uses 1kWh of electricity to produce 4kWh of heat. This means that the 225,000kWh of solar electricity that supplies the heat pump generates approximately 1,000,000kWh of renewable heat!
Carbon Emissions and the UK’s Zero Emissions Target
The solar generation alone will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 112 tonnes per annum and when combined with the heat pump a further 375 tonnes of CO2 could be saved every year. This type of hybrid system will become more and more important if we are going to meet the targets currently being outlined by the Committee on Climate Change.
Return on Investment
The farm business was paying approximately £50,000.00 in LPG every year for their heating and drying requirements which is now a direct saving being delivered by the hybrid scheme we’ve installed.
The new Solar PV element of the scheme will earn around £4,000.00 in feed in tariffs and the heat pump system will earn in excess of £115,000.00 every year through the Renewable Heat Incentive.