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92.9fm Regional News

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Farrer shines bright in new Agrivoltaic solar pilot

Founders of Wynergy Brad Dolahenty and Ben Wynn join Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall, Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson, Farrer Principal Paul Gallagher and head students to announce a new solar system, Photo Emily Caldwell

A new solar-powered irrigation system is set to be installed at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School as one of seven new pilot projects across the state.

Local renewable energy start-up Wynergy has received $180,000 from the state government to pilot a sustainable energy system and power the school's irrigation system.

Wynergy's uniquely designed Agrivoltaic system tracks the sun, whilst providing shelter for livestock and is slated to save Farrer nearly $75,000 per year on energy costs.

Clint Gallagher, Principal of the all-boys school said they are pleased to participate in this exciting pilot project.

"As a school, we are both privileged and pleased not just for our existing students but also our students of the future," Mr Gallagher said, " We see tremendous benefits for the school and the entire region in general."

Mr Gallagher said the school's energy costs have been rising and the solar panels they currently have only help to power the school but not the agricultural needs.

"We are looking to show our students new technologies that are available in the agricultural sector," Mr Gallagher said.

Ben Wynn Cofounder of Wynergy said the solar panels have been designed specifically for small to medium farms.

"Premised on our “stock-proof” solar tracking system, we design and build solar farms that maximise agricultural yield and solar energy production while coexisting on the same land," Mr Wynn said.

Wynergy's unique design, Photo Supplied

Lead by the Department of Primary Industries the project at Farrer is one of seven Energy Efficient Solution projects across the state.

Agricultural Minister Adam Marshall said the pilot programs would demonstrate a variety of technological solutions at a range of farms located across NSW in energy-intensive sub-sectors including dairy, horticulture and feedlots.

“They will provide real-world examples of innovative approaches to improving energy

efficiency and reducing energy costs, while reducing risks associated with the early

adoption of new technologies in agriculture,” Mr Marshall said.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said he is delighted Farrer would be playing an integral role in the pilot project.

“All of these projects have a huge potential to deliver real benefits to farmers across the

State, but specifically, Farrer’s will see the electrification and improved solar tracking

of irrigation pumps to demonstrate Agrivoltaics," said Mr Anderson.

Depending on supplies the construction will commence between April and May of 2021 and will be up and running within four to six weeks.


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