Lower Clopton Farm Shop
Home produced food, home produced electricity
Electricity produced from solar PV is helping garden centres and farm shops to reduce their costs while showing customers that, along with locally-sourced produce, electricity can be sourced locally, too.
Lower Clopton Farm Shop, near Stratford-Upon-Avon, attracts a demographic that truly understands the wider environmental issues we all face. A key requirement for many customers is, therefore, to source local produce. Lower Clopton focusses on supplying meat and produce from its own farm, while sourcing locally, in order to promote its business to these discerning customers.
Richard and Suzie Baldwyn, owners of Lower Clopton Farm shop, decided to take this concept one stage further. They realised that their electricity bills were continuing to increase significantly and were likely to rise a further 30 to 40% over the next 5 years, becoming a major cost to the business. They also felt that the next logical step in sourcing locally was to source their inputs locally, too. They realised that using electricity produced from their own roof would help to show customers that there's a wider picture to consider, and could help put them a step ahead of their competitors.
Key facts and predictions - amended to September 2019 rates
Figures updated to represent September 2019 Post-FiT subsidy rates
- £23,000 - cost exc. VAT.
- 30kW - installed by Mypower.
- 27,600kWh - electricity produced per annum.
- 9 tonnes - CO2 emissions avoided per annum.
- £3,381 - first year income and savings with 75% of electricity used on site.
- 14.7% - first year return on capital invested, before capital allowance benefits.
- 6.8 years - system payback before finance, tax and capital allowance benefits.
- £180,252 - total projected income and savings over 25 years.
- 5.11 p/kWh - equivalent forward purchase price of 624,000 units of electricity over 25 years, plus FiT income on top.
Knowing that solar PV was a great way to produce electricity, Richard wanted to find out if it would really stack up and be financially viable. He spoke to Ben Harrison of Mypower to see how solar could reduce their energy costs and if it would be a good investment for his business.
"Ben was incredibly helpful and carried out a consultation, survey and feasibility study at no cost," Richard commented. "The figures were compelling - for an initial investment of £28,500 for 30 kW of solar producing 28,000 units of electricity per year, the return on capital was around 14.5% with payback in less than 7 years. Looking long term over 25 years, this meant the cost of our electricity from solar would be 4.5 pence per unit, around 1/3 of what we currently pay, and furthermore this price is fixed and won't go up."
Richard commissioned Mypower to supply and install his solar system on one of his barns in August 2015 and he has never looked back.
Ben Harrison said: "It was fantastic to work with a forward thinking farmer like Richard. We have since installed solar at several other farm shops and just recently, we installed 150 panels on the Grade 1 listed 1,000 year old Gloucester Cathedral, a world first! What we love about installing solar in such public places is that we can also put in a public display screen for the businesses to show customers how much electricity is being produced on site and the environmental benefits associated with the solar."
"Mypower had an excellent reputation and their references were good, they did everything they said they would and more, without causing any inconvenience to us. Their in-house installers were very professional and tidy and Ben kept us in the loop throughout the week long project and did all the paperwork as promised. I really had little to do apart from sign the cheque and let Mypower do the rest! 4 years on, the solar is performing better than anticipated and our bills have come down more than we hoped. We haven't had to do a thing with it, it just works in the background alongside our mains supply, providing us with our own locally sourced electricity."
Richard Baldwyn, Owner - Lower Clopton Farm Shop