A number of farmers concerned about the electrical power hike are taking advantage of renewable energy to take their businesses off-grid, motivated by economics and environmental concern as reported by ABC News.
One fine example is a broiler chicken farm in western Victoria, which has become the latest to use solar power to go completely off-grid. The idea to go solar was born after 2 years of drought and poor harvest.
Craig Henderson, owner and broad acre farmer said it was about making it financially possible to keep the family farming into the future. The property outside Warracknabeal is 15 kilometres away from the nearest power source. It would cost Mr. Henderson more than $1 million to connect to the grid. Thus he opted for solar panels with 100 kilowatt of battery storage.
He has already installed two sheds at just over $250,000 and has plans to expand to 300 kilowatts of power as he build more chicken sheds. Each of the shed shelters 44,000 chickens and the temperature needs to be fully controlled for optimum growing conditions.
Mr. Henderson believes that his broiler farm is the first to go off-grid, but he also stated that it will become more common in the future as the cost of power goes up.
As well as being completely off-grid, Mr Henderson boasts of his fully integrated and sustainable chicken farming operation.