The partners will test the viability of using small-scale on-farm wind turbines to generate, use and/or sell electricity and explore the recovery of heat created from bulk milk tanks.
Bulk milk tanks use compressed gas to cool milk. A large amount of energy is used to run the compressors, which in turn creates lots of heat that is vented out into the atmosphere and wasted.
Smart-Heat - a system designed and marketed by First Milk’s partner Fabdec - captures the waste heat and uses it to produce hot water for use on the farm.
Morrisons has agreed to support initial trials for both projects and assist in a roll-out to the wider First Milk membership.
First Milk chief executive Kate Allum said: “We will now trial both projects and following a review, plan to make the technology and learnings available to all of our farmers.”
Smaller electricity bills
Morrisons head of agriculture David Evans added: “The new ‘on farm’ trials of wind turbines and heat recovery in Ayrshire are particularly satisfying as these have developed from our earlier research work which identified that dairy farmers could use renewable energy forms to cut annual electricity bills by a third.”
The government has heavily incentivised investment in small-scale renewable energy projects through the ‘FITS’ payments scheme, which was introduced in April.
First Milk produces cheddar for Morrisons from creameries at Haverfordwest and Campbeltown.