Anders Johansson at Norrstävlö Farm just north of Kalmar sees his yellow chickens and the yellow sun as a perfect combination. There are two photovoltaic installations. A photovoltaic park directly adjacent to the farm and a roof assembly on a machine hall a little further away.
The solar farm was installed first and is just below the limit for paying full energy tax (which before July 1, 2017 was 255kW). When the rules were changed so that it was possible for a legal entity to build more plants, as long as each plant did not exceed 255kW, Anders chose to put panels on the machine hall as well.
How many chickens do you have on your farm?
– We breed 2 million chickens every year, which makes us one of the largest among a total of 120-130 breeders in Sweden.
As a chicken farmer you use a lot of electricity, what is the consumption during the year?
– Chicken production is energy intensive. A lot of electricity is used for ventilation, heat exchangers, lighting and feed preparation. Above all, it is ventilation that requires a lot of energy. The chickens are dependent on an even temperature, so both heat and cold are needed all year round as plenty of fresh air is healthy and good for growth.
Why did you become interested in solar energy?
– I have long been interested in environmental issues. Already ten years ago, we did a study to build a wind turbine, but the amount of wind here turned out to be less than normal, so we couldn’t make the project work. However, the cost of solar energy has now come down to such levels that it is directly profitable, which made us feel: Now is the time.
You chose to build a solar park, why?
– Our roofs were not optimally positioned, but by doing a ground mount, we were able to maximize production. With the same installed power, we simply got more output compared to if we had mounted the panels on the buildings. Since we have such a high and even consumption of electricity throughout the year, this resulted in a better financial outcome. The panels were placed on a site that was previously quite poor arable land. As it is a ground installation, the panels have also been fitted with extra security clips to minimize the risk of theft. It feels safe.