Installation of PV panels with a capacity of 9.54kWp and with 10kWh battery storage system in a Dairy Farm.
Problem addressed:
Dairy farms incur significant electricity costs in their operation for pumps, lighting and cooling systems. Electricity is generally grid supplied. Dairy farm sites and buildings are often ell suited to solar energy, but owners require trusted and independent guidance to explore the appropriate options.

J & M Dairies Solar PV Project:
Dairy farmers, John and Marguerite Ryan, run a busy dairy farm in Gortnahoe, Thurles, Tipperary. They were spending upwards of €500 a month on electricity alone. Milking 130 cows twice daily, washing out milking machines and lighting the parlour were major drains on power on the family farm.
The solution provided for the Ryan farm includes a 9.54kWp Solar PV array with 10kWh Sonnen battery storage system to optimise on-site utilisation of the clean energy.
3CEA coordinated the grant application and coordination of the project under the SEAI Better Energy Communities (BEC) Scheme.

BEC Scheme overview:
The BEC scheme is Ireland’s national retrofit initiative aimed at upgrading building stock and facilities to high standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy usage, thereby reducing fossil fuel usage, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Resources needed

Total BEC Annual budgets vary but are in the region of €20 million to €30m.

For the J & M Dairies Solar PV Project the BEC scheme provide a 30% grant of the total project cost of approx. €25,000

Evidence of success

The installed system provides approx. 40% of the total electricity demand for the farm.
Annual energy generated = 10,499 kWh
Annual savings = € 1,889.76
Annual CO2 savings = 4.3 tonnes

Potential for learning or transfer

The BEC scheme evolves each year. However there remains significant potential for improvement through continuous assessment, and therefore also potential for learning and knowledge transfer. This specific project has potential for replication in similar dairy farms throughout the region.
Main institution
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Southern and Eastern, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
June 2018
End Date
October 2018


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Alastair Mumford

Devon County Council