To beat soaring electricity prices from their state owned electricity provider – Ergon Energy, Queensland sugar cane growing family has decided to go off grid solar for it’s energy needs.
The Griffin Family from Bundaberg are currently laying the concrete ground work on their 80 hectare cane farm for a ground-mounted solar power system. Which will result in the farm going completely off grid.
Kevin Griffin said “This is a direct response to the soaring power prices which have been crippling farmers like us for years now,”
The family said even if it could continue to pay for Ergon’s crippling $10,000 per quarter for irrigating their cane farmer, they could of potentially paid off the off grid solar system within two and a half years. But putting at least $40,000 to $50,000 a year into this power giant’s pocket was not an option.
“We won’t, and can’t, do that. But we can take our custom away completely and go off-grid”
The family have taken on a $100,000 loan to pay for off grid solar system but feel the costs are justified.
They went on to say “We have to face facts that for around the price of buying a new 120-horsepower tractor, we can get our own solar and escape the ongoing pressures of government-run electricity.”
“From now on, our power money goes to pay off our off grid solar system, and make us independent of this government-run giant which obviously does not want to listen to farmers and ordinary families who simply cannot afford their huge electricity costs.”
“We worked out we could have it paid off in six or seven years for around the same money as we are paying right now to Ergon, even without using our irrigation capabilities”
“By irrigating using solar, we also can increase our production back to the 7000 tonnes a year we used to get when we irrigated fully”
The family says the 25-year system guarantee gives them peace of mind and once paid off would mean the farm can enjoy decades of cost-free power.
A big factor when the family sat down to discuss the long-term future of the farm.
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