Like households and small businesses, Australian farmers are increasingly turning to renewable energy technologies to cut their power costs and shore up their bottom lines.
But a new report from Commonwealth Bank of Australia suggests the shift to solar and battery storage in the nation’s expansive agribusiness sector has only just begun.
According to the bank’s latest Agri Insights report, a staggering 76 per cent of all farmers, nationwide, are planning to tap solar and battery storage, as regaining control over energy costs becomes a major business focus. This present a unique opportunity to farmers who’s income is reliant on the seasonal harvesting patterns and prone to unfavourable weather such as droughts.
The energy consumption pattern following seasonality in operation of farms, provides an opportunity for the farmers to generate additional cash flow form energy trading. During the off peak times the farmers can sell the electricity and generate additional income and at the same time reduce their operating cost through reduction in energy costs which can account for up to 10% of the costs.
Atlantic Power Exchange is developing the technology to allow the farmers trade electricity on their terms. This will improve the investment yield on renewable energy generation investment for the farmers. Farmers, who invest in the renewable energy generation and use Atlantic Power Exchange technology, can negotiate directly with the market including other farmers and enter their own Power Purchase Agreement directly removing any intermediary and erosion in margin.