Jack Buck farms
The farm stretches across 1,500 acres of arable land in Lincolnshire, and provides the company with a wide range of vegetable and flower crops.
K e y S t a t s
CO2 saved per year
300 Sharp 245W
Fronius CL48 & IG150+
The Buck family has been farming near Spalding in Lincolnshire for more than 150 years, growing more than a dozen types of vegetables and flower crops on 1,500 acres of the country’s best silt land. As part of their brand image, the producer prides themselves on being pro-active and environmentally conscious. As a proud supplier of arable crops to UK supermarkets such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer, the farm group wanted to boost its green credentials through solar PV in order to keep up to date with industry requirements. To achieve this, they contacted us to help install what was to be the large-scale solar installation onto their farmland.
Following a full initial site survey, the installation team proposed the solution of two
separate solar arrays for the farm’s metal-clad pitched barn roofs. The benefit of this is that the farm
would be able to use the otherwise ‘dead space’ on the roof, and put to good use by turning it into a
reliable source of clean energy.
To construct this system, more than 300 panels were fitted, making up a combined 73 kWp system. From this, the amount that it will generate totals to an estimated 59,000 kWh of electricity each year. This can be used to power the machinery, charge electrical appliances and power the building itself, all of which reduces their dependency on the national electricity grid.In monetary terms this means the farm group is now saving more than £5,000 a year on its energy bills, and generated a further £20,000 from the Feed-in Tariff when it was accessible. This means the new system is making significant contributions to the farm’s financial targets.
With the new savings on their electricity costs, the farm can use these funds to reinvest into the production capacity in the form of new machinery or workers. Therefore, the new solar PV array has not only given them a source of green energy, but also provides a method of organic sustainable growth.
Establishing and maintaining a positive brand image in sustainability and cooperate social responsibility is essential for a business like this, particularly given the recent retail consumer trends towards ‘greener, more transparent’ supply chains. This system clearly demonstrates the farm’s commitment to preventing climate change.
With such impressive return on investment, the system will have paid for itself in eight years. It should continue to generate a second income for the Buck family – members of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme – for years after that too, as they work to encourage more farmers to enhance and conserve the countryside’s beauty and diversity.
Robin Buck, Director for Jack Buck Farms, comments:
“We’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how quickly and efficiently the installation went. We’ve only had a bit more than a week’s production so far, and the sun went in as we switched on, but output has been well up to expectations.”