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FrieslandCampina taps in to dairy farm solar energy

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By Jim Cornall+


Around 1,600 FrieslandCampina farms already have solar panels installed. Pic:©iStock/DutchScenery
Around 1,600 FrieslandCampina farms already have solar panels installed. Pic:©iStock/DutchScenery

Henk Kamp, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, has given out SDE+ (Encouraging Sustainable Energy Production) subsidies of more than €200m ($239m) for the installation of solar panels at the roofs of FrieslandCampina member dairy farms.

This will make it possible to install more than 416,000 solar panels at 310 dairy farms. The panels will generate more than 20% of the electricity for the Dutch plants and offices of the dairy company, equivalent to 33,000 average households.

GroenLeven Heerenveen will install the panels.

This subsidy allocation is part of the FrieslandCampina Solar program, aimed at accelerating the installation of solar panels at dairy farms.

The program includes the ‘roof rent solution’ developed in cooperation with GroenLeven. The ambition of FrieslandCampina is to generate sufficient green electricity at the farm yards to fully cover the use of electricity within the chain, to achieve climate neutral growth in 2020.

FrieslandCampina stimulates the production of green electricity by offering dairy farmers a €10 ($12) bonus for each ton reduction of CO2 emission.

Roof rent

The GroenLeven ‘roof rent solution’ focuses on dairy farms with a roof surface of more than 1,000 m2. GroenLeven installs a solar system on the dairy farm roof, and carries out connection, monitoring, financing, guarantees and maintenance.

The dairy farmer receives an annual premium of €3-4 ($3.58-4.77) per panel for making the roof available and can use green electricity without being forced to invest in solar panels.

Each year, the dairy farmer is offered the choice to take over the installation and the accompanying SDE subsidy. Apart from using it at the dairy farm, a part of the solar energy will go to FrieslandCampina plants and offices in the Netherlands in order to meet their electricity demand.

Solar energy

An average dairy farm roof (usually the sheds) offers room for more than enough solar panels to compensate for the full electricity demand of the farm.

A total of 1,600 FrieslandCampina dairy farms already have solar panels.

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