Seeking a sustainable farm energy solution

Our AF Member B&C Farming, run by father and daughter team Tony and Sophie Bambridge, have been helped by AF to solve the significant problem in their business of high cost of running potato store chillers.

Seeking a sustainable farm energy solution

The Bambridge’s were aware that the cost of solar PV installation had reduced since their first investment in a 50kW system. They were interested to invest in a bigger system that would help to offset the impact of increasing energy prices on their farming business and consulted AF for their options.

Farm energy need assessment

The primary use of power at B&C Farming’s newest production facility is temperature control in their potato stores.

AF Renewable Project Specialist John Wadeson carried out a full review of the half hourly electricity consumption data for both meters on site.  With that information he created a consumption profile and payback analysis.  This demonstrated that if the cooling was done during the day, rather than during the night, it could be powered by solar.

The renewable energy installation proposal was reviewed by B&C Farming’s board of directors and approved.  “Operate our store chillers during the day? It goes against decades of running the stores in a certain way, so it’s a tough change to make”, remembers Tony Bambridge, “but we knew it made good sense and that it’s for the right reasons.”

Solar system installed

A 382kW solar system was approved. AF got tenders from multiple suppliers and supported the business in choosing the most appropriate one for their project. For Sophie Bambridge, the installation has sparked the realisation that it is not just the source of power to cool the potato stores that has changed. “Installing solar PV is the first step in the journey. But we’ve also learned there’s a lot more to it.  It’s about changing how we do things on farm.”

Hear more from Sophie Bambridge about how AF helped fulfil their renewable energy ambition in this short film from the installer Power Different.