Stewart made the statement when speaking with local Scottish farmers in Peeblesshire at the latest monitor farm meeting, stating that investment in renewable energy allows greater control over the farm’s energy requirements, as well as bringing in extra, and sometimes much-needed income, through Feed In Tariffs.
Stewart revealed that £20m had been put aside for lending to fund a range of renewable energy technologies, including hydro electricity, wind power, solar power and biomass boilers.
William Aitkin, one of the farmers present at the meeting, explained how he has already benefited from installing wind turbines on his farm. He told the group how he buys power for 12p per unit and receives 4p per unit of exported power, and advised that those wishing to benefit from Feed In tariffs should negotiate the purchase rate with their supplier, and consider seeking financial assistance to ensure they get the most out of their setup.
Aitkin estimated that he receives a 15-20% on capital, and in the first 12 months, received around 17.5% return, meaning that if all goes to plan, his installation should be paid back within 6 years.
Aitkin warned others at the meeting of what they need to consider if they’re to make their installation feasible. This includes:
Locating turbines no further than 400m from a grid connection, to avoid having to spend more on heavy duty cabling.
Turbines should be running at least 20% of the time.
Transformers and inverters should be located close to the power meter
Line space on a power meter needs to be booked and paid for in order for generated power to be sold back to the grid
For those in farming, now is a time full of opportunities to reduce environmental impact and expenditure, as well as giving yourself a chance to receive financial support from banks and incentives such as the Feed In tariff.
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