Östergötland Farm Offsets 70% of Annual Electricity Use With Rooftop Solar
215.7 kWp solar plant produces approximately 200 MWh of solar energy each year, offsetting around 70% of farm’s annual energy use and reducing carbon emissions by approximately 184 tonnes
7 December 2023 – Svenneby Gård, a dairy and grain producer located a few miles east of Norrköping, has become self-sufficient in electricity in the summer months (May to September) and also produces a surplus to sell to the grid, following the installation of a 646-module solar plant and battery. On an annual basis, the system offsets around 70% of the farm's electricity consumption, reducing carbon emissions by approximately 184 tonnes.
Svenneby Gård is one of a growing number of agricultural producers in Sweden that are installing solar to improve the sustainability of their operations and to keep rising energy prices under control. It was also one of the first producers to include a battery as part of the system. This helps ensure the farm is able to use more of the solar energy generated onsite, which in turns means it can achieve a faster return on its investment.
The solar modules totaling 215.7 kWp are mounted on the roof of the farm’s machine hall, and are controlled by two SolarEdge 82.8K DC-optimized inverters. Power Optimizers attached behind the solar array maximize energy production by overcoming issues such as shading and module mismatch. The Power Optimizers also enable the solar plant to start producing energy earlier in the day and for a longer time in the evening.
Excess energy is stored in the battery, which takes just two hours to become fully charged and is able to supply the farm with electricity all night during the summer. Of the 200 MWh of solar power produced by the plant from January to December last year, two-thirds were used to power loads on the farm, while one-third was sold to the grid.
“We wanted to be part of the trend with solar energy and with hindsight it has turned out that our timing was perfect. The depreciation period was initially 8-10 years for the solar system and 10-12 years for the battery. But with the increase in electricity prices, it has now been reduced to 7-8 years and 9-10 years respectively," says farm owner Patrik Leo.
A sales representative at installer Isorent, says: “This company was ahead of the curve when they decided to install a solar-plus-storage system, but now the rest of the market is catching up, and we are seeing a lot of demand for photovoltaic systems for agriculture. Green farms want green electricity. Added to this, many see it as a way to secure their electricity price and make their electricity supply more predictable.”
The plant's production can be easily tracked with an app that monitors activity via the inverter. This also allows for easy troubleshooting, as it is easy to see if a panel is underperforming – as opposed to some solar systems, where a drop in production can go unnoticed for days, weeks or even longer.
“An important point to consider when looking into installing a solar plant is what embedded safety features it offers,” adds Jerry Beccau, the farm's workshop and technology manager. He is also responsible for energy issues. “We were attracted by the SolarEdge inverter’s built-in rapid shut-down function, which means the voltages on the roof can be reduced to a touch-safe level to enable safe access by O&M providers or, in the unlikely event of a fire within the machine hall, the emergency services. This gives us considerable peace of mind.”
SolarEdge is a global leader in smart energy technology. By leveraging world-class engineering capabilities and with a relentless focus on innovation, SolarEdge creates smart energy solutions that power our lives and drive future progress. SolarEdge developed an intelligent inverter solution that changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SolarEdge DC optimized inverter seeks to maximize power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the PV system. Continuing to advance smart energy, SolarEdge addresses a broad range of energy market segments through its PV, storage, EV charging, batteries, electric vehicle powertrains, and grid services solutions. SolarEdge is online at www.solaredge.com