An opportunity to become more self-sufficient in electricity, while reducing electricity costs and contributing to the energy transition. At Johannesberg Manor in Roslagen, a large part of the electricity is now produced from its own solar park.
Almost in the middle of Roslagen, in the municipality of Norrtälje, lies Johannesbergs Säteri, a farm of more than a thousand hectares with a centuries-old history. The current owner, whose family has owned the farm for about a hundred years, has previously practiced traditional agriculture with milk production, grain cultivation and forestry on the farm. – Today, however, agriculture is only a small part of the business,” explains George Bergengren, the third generation of the family to own the farm. Although agriculture and forestry still exist, the business is now much more developed towards the tourism industry. The castle has been converted into a hotel and conference facility. A 27-hole golf course has been built with Donald Steel as course architect. In addition, a riding facility has been developed in the old farm buildings with stables and a riding hall for courses, among other things. – During the pandemic, we renovated the castle and built an outdoor spa, a paddle court, a yoga studio and a gym.
More climate-smart production at lower cost
In the autumn of 2021, it has also invested in and built its own solar cell plant of about 0.4 megawatts, which is about 3000 square meters in size.
– The idea is to produce electricity for the 130-room hotel and conference facility, as well as for the restaurant and spa. These activities are large consumers of electricity and the hope is that we will be able to produce electricity in a more climate-smart way and at a lower cost than what we buy from external suppliers.
On the other hand, this is not the first time George Bergengren has invested in energy production at one of his properties.
– If we do not take an interest in our energy supply, we cannot survive. Agriculture and forestry is an energy industry, just look at all the district heating already produced with wood chips and other forest by-products. Rapeseed that becomes biodiesel. Looking back, we produced the fuel for the horses that provided all the transportation.
This is why he has previously invested in wind power in Skåne for a long time.
– And now that technological developments in solar energy have made the price realistic, it’s not surprising that we’ve become interested in it, especially as there’s not much land needed.
We have production in-house
The installation of the solar cells at Johanneberg Manor was done in collaboration with EnergiEngagemang, with whom George Bergengren had good experience from previous collaborations.
– The advantage of this new facility is that we have the production in-house and hopefully we will be able to get a reasonable economy around it all. It should also be remembered that Sweden sometimes imports electricity from Germany, so another important advantage is that we now do not risk being dependent on coal-generated electricity.
The facility at Johannesbergs Säteri has been built on the land next to the golf course.
– It is located right next to the driving range and in the past the land was used a bit as reserve land for the golf course. You can also see it from the hotel, and I hope and believe that the guests visiting Johannesberg will find it nice that we make extensive use of domestically produced electricity and that we are contributing to the climate transition.