Poultry farming is a highly energy intensive business, with constant power needed to maintain the controlled environments of the cage facilities, and to a lesser extent, the free range facilities also. Lighting and electric motors are required to operate the heating and ventilation systems essential to the survival of the birds, making power costs a substancial overhead.
Based at Bendick Murrell near Young in NSW, LPC Trading is a poujtry business comprising a rearing farm, cage and free range egg production and feed milling sites, and houses close to 500,000 hens.
Its a family run business, with the three Langfield brothers – Brett, Simon and Justin – taking over management of the facility from their parents. Together they oversee the company’s four sites, which includes managing the birds’ care throughout their whole life cycle, supplying feed to customers in NSW and Victoria and running their own transport service for deliveries.
After noticing a 25% increase in LPC Trading’s power costs, and with predictions that this would continue rising, Brett began seeking out alternative energy options for his “power crucial” business.
Wanting to try solar but not willing to risk the capital of a solar installation with no guarantee of reward, Brett sought out a more flexible, long-term solution.
It was ultimately Solar Professional’s Power Purchase Agreement that sealed the deal.
With olar Professionals retained ownership of the solar system and responsibility for all ongoing maintenance, the risk of the installation disappeared for LPC Trading. They now buy back the power their system produces over an agreed contract term, allowing them to experience the improvements in savings and efficiency for the rearing farm firsthand.
“Everything else really became a non-issue with the PPA”, said Brett. “We were able to take the step into solar with no upfront costs, and no risk.
The flexibility provided by the PPA was also a huge plus to LPC Trading, who value having the option to buy out their solar system for an agreed upon value at any point throughout their contract.
As part of their PPA, Solar Professionals have installed a total registered capacity of 518KW for LPC Trading, the first part of the installation being 74.88KW to their rearing site at Kingsvale in 2015. After witnessing the increased savings and efficiency of the solar system over the following two years, LPC Trading decided to install solar at their larger feed mill and cage sites at their Bendick Murrell facility utilising both roof and ground space. 198KW’s was installed to their feed mill site in December 2017 and a further 245KW’s was installed utilising a ground mount application to their free range and KLE sites in February 2018.
For LPC Trading, the single biggest benefit has been the improvement in energy efficiency at their sites and the subsequent power savings. They have seen a reduction in external energy consumption and cost savings of 15%, and its only early days.
The result has exceeded LPC Trading’s expectations, which Brett attributes to Solar Professionals’ careful approach to the project. “They spent a lot of time working with us, getting to know our facility and its needs, and then they tailored a solution that would produce the best results”.
Looking back on the process, Brett added, “They offered a simple way to get into solar and made the whole process a really positive experience, in more ways than just savings. They were the ideal team to work with”.