Cornish firm extends solar PV installation

Background

Riviera Produce are a Cornish company that grows, harvests and distributes a wide range of fresh vegetables. The farm was originally established in 1870 by the family of current managing director, David Simmons, and now covers over 5,000 acres. Riviera Produce has a purpose built facility where crops are prepared, packaged and distributed to clients.

The requirement

The facility includes a refrigerated storage area which adds to the energy requirements of the site, and David Simmons was keen to explore ways of reducing the company’s energy costs and generating an extra income stream.

David met Noble Green Energy's Eddie Chadfield at a Brassica Conference. He got on well with Eddie and thought that Noble Green Energy had similar ethics to himself. David liked the idea of solar PV because he would receive the government-guaranteed feed-in tariff income for every unit of electricity generated, and he could use that electricity on site to help reduce his running costs.

David decided on a 250kW ground-mounted system which was installed in April 2015. He was very pleased with the installation process which he describes as “excellent – well organised and efficient”.

Results

The system at Riviera Produce was forecast to produce an annual financial benefit of £30,400 which is a 11.43% return on investment, however the system is actually doing slightly better and is generating £39,992 per year, taking the actual ROI to 15.04%.

Added value

David is delighted with the reduction he has seen in the company’s electricity bills and has since installed an additional 250kW of panels to further increase his energy savings and feed-in tariff income. He has opted for a roof-mounted system this time rather than ground-mounted as this will utilise what would otherwise be unused roof space and reduce demand on further precious growing space on the ground.

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