Minko North Solar
2019 Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grant
|Grant Recipient:||Michael Boerema|
|Farm/Dairy Name:||Minko North Dairy|
|State/Town:||Korunye, South Australia|
|Project Name:||Minko North Solar|
Michael Boerema operates the Minko North dairy in Korunye South Australia. Spread over 80 hectares, Michael manages a 360 head cow herd housed in an undercover feed pad and milkshed which operates a 50-stand rotary.
The dairy is also used as a training facility by the University of Adelaide. This connection keeps Michael in the loop with new technology, nutrition and animal husbandry techniques.
Concerned by increasing electricity costs and emissions produced by the operation, Michael decided to look for alternative energy sources that could make use of the region’s abundant sunshine. He worked with Dairy Australia whose energy audit gave Michael the business case needed to confidently invest in solar panels to partly supply the energy needed to run the shed.
Finding out about the Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants, Michael successfully applied for a grant to partially fund the cost of the panels.
Project Overview, Purpose and Goals
Once the benefits had been identified the next step was to install the solar panels on the dairy shed. In total, Michael planned to install 30 KWH of Solenergy panels that he estimated would cut the operation’s reliance on an energy provider by 20,555 KWH and reduce its carbon emissions by 10.9 tons annually.
Michael said the goal of the project was to make the dairy operation more sustainable by cutting electricity costs while at the same time making it more environmentally friendly.
With the project completed Michael said 9.8 kWh batteries and 11.4 kWh solar system were installed to stay within SA Power Network regulations.
After three months of operation the solar panel and battery set-up provide 30 percent of the operation’s energy needs and have cut their carbon emissions by 1.6 tons.
Michael expects that as time goes on further reductions will occur improving the operation’s sustainability and profitability.
Looking back on the project Michael said the benefits for the operation make the investment well worth it. However, he suggests checking with state authorities first to make sure plans meet their requirements.
“After contacting SA Power Networks I had to scale back my plans from 30 KWH to 11.4 KWH to meet their requirements,” Michael said.
“The Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants have given me the opportunity to make the necessary investment in the operation to fulfil my energy saving goals,” Michael added.
Minko North Dairy manages 360 head of milking cows in Korunye SA.
Installed battery that stores energy produced by the solar panels.
Cattle in the overhead feed pad.