One of the largest pig breeders in Leicestershire has turned to solar to help power its pig-feeding facilities.

Philip Gosling, owner of Lodge Farm, approached Kidderminster-based Eco2Solar to design a solar system capable of reducing the farm’s energy costs and generate an income from the feed-in tariff. In response, Eco2Solar designed a 39.6kWp solar PV system compromising of 165 REC 240W modules paired with three Fronius IG PLUS 150 12kW inverters.

The renewable energy company predicts that the array will generate more than 34,153kWh of electricity every year, the equivalent consumption of 10 average households.

All of the electricity generated will be consumed on-sit ate the 320-acre family-run farm, which is home to almost 200 breeding sows. The clean energy will be used to power the farm’s on-site pig unit which grinds and mills over 1,000 tonnes of pig feed ever year.

Lodge Farm is expected to generate in excess of £11,000 in tax-free income  every year from the feed-in tariff scheme.   

Commenting on the install, Gosling said: “We are delighted with the work undertaken by Eco2Solar at our farm. They fitted our solar panels very quickly and efficiently in one single installation without causing any lengthy disruption to our farming activities.

“By utilising on-farm renewables, we are able to secure a valuable additional revenue steam which is vital for the future development of our facilities.”

Eco2Solar’s Managing Director, Paul Hutchens explained how he was proud to support Lodge Farm, stating: “This installation is particularly rewarding for Eco2Solar as it has given us the opportunity to help a local farm diversify its revenue streams and save tonnes of carbon emissions.

“There are great opportunities for farmers to increase profits and produce their own electricity using solar panels.

The Lodge Farm installation follows the announcement by the Government to exempt small-scale renewable energy schemes on farms from planning regulations. It means planning permission will no longer be required by farmers who install renewable generators such as solar panels on existing buildings.

“This is excellent news for the farming industry and rural economy. It means farmers and land managers will no longer be ‘turned off’ from the benefits of solar panel installations through fear of facing complex and costly planning permission applications.

“By removing such barriers, the Government is delivering a green policy that will really benefit the economy,” added Mr Hutchens.