Island Farms Power Plant Plans
by K Robinson
Farms on Anglesey, the Energy Island, are to become prototype mini-power stations, according to plans put forward by the local authority.
The idea is to produce electricity from a range of alternative sources, such as biomass, wind and solar. This would also generate a positive cash flow for the farmer, and so offer a means of diversification.
Anglesey Council will look for up to 100 small holdings to be assessed for and if suitable, fitted with state of the art alternative energy technology, which would help contribute to more sustainable farming practices.
While these projects could be considered low carbon and even carbon neutral, it may be over the longer term they could become carbon positive, in that they generate more renewable energy than they consume.
This would see these mini-power stations selling back to the National Grid the surplus power they generate, under the Government backed Feed in Tariff scheme.
Preliminary calculations estimate these mini-power plants could generate net yearly savings of around £75,000, which would be a combination of not using more expensive fossil fuels as well as the cash incentives from the government.
And the payback profile seems to be quite favourable, with an estimated capital cost of around £300,000 being recovered within 4 years or so.
The Centre for Sustainable Energy was commissioned to carry out the research on behalf of Anglesey Council.
Initially, a pilot scheme of 5 farms on the island is proposed.
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