Energy is a major input and significant cost for the egg industry, as most hens are kept in climate- controlled sheds. Solar is an effective source of energy for egg farms, as the size and timing of daily peak demand mirrors peak energy production, with more energy being used to cool sheds during the middle of the day. Solar power can often be a cheaper long- term alternative to relying on grid power for egg farms, and it contributes to the industry’s long-term environmental sustainability.
As electricity costs have increased over the past decade, 10 of the 12 largest egg producers have introduced some form of solar energy to power their farms. This has helped the producers to both lower their energy costs and improve their environmental outcomes, recognising that every kilowatt–hour of energy produced by the sun is a kilowatt–hour that you don’t have to buy.
To help small- and medium-sized farms to investigate and analyse the viability of solar energy for their businesses, Australian Egg Limited has developed a solar calculator tool. The solar calculator provides the approximate cost and payback period for installing a solar system, based on a farm’s energy requirements. The tool is supported by comprehensive information on the Australian Eggs website to help producers understand their options, accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and enhance the economic viability of the egg industry. Producers who’ve made the switch are already noticing the benefits.