Berryplants

Background

Berryplants are growers and suppliers of soft fruit and small fruit planting stock. They were formed in 1995 and supply soft fruit plant material throughout Europe to professional commercial growers.
  
The soft fruit industry is a modern high tech operation and Berryplants have adapted by investment in plant and automation as well as locating plant propagation to areas around the world where the Agri-infrastructure available provides the best facilities for propagating each plant format.
 
The company has also diversified into ornamental plant production which helps provide a 12 month product cycle.

The Berryplants team are committed to supplying quality plants along with a high level of service.

Key Stats

Client Type

Owner Operator

Industry

Agriculture

Location

Newchurch, Kent

Project Type

Tier One Solar Energy System – Roof Mounted

System Size

50kW

Installation Date

August 2017

The Brief

Berryplants have a high demand for electricity at their Newchurch site with machinery and chiller units driving their usage. Increasing energy prices led them to look at alternative self-generated electricity alternatives in order to control overheads. Being very conscious of the incremental environmental benefits a solar energy system was favoured.

Berryplants had invested recently in their premises and they were keen to maintain the integrity of a newly installed roof and to allow natural light to enter the facility via the skylights.

The Solution

Centreco mapped Berryplants electricity usage profiles. With the high demand electricity use due to the chillers operation running in parallel with the generation profile of the solar energy system, a highly efficient roof mounted 50kW system was designed and installed at the Newchurch site.

The system utilised 150 x 330w Canadian Solar panels and a single Huawei inverter. The design allowed for the skylights to be retained fully operational on the pitched roof with panelling being undertaken around these features. The mounting system allowed form improved security of the new roof.

Outcome

The yield profile has been very efficient with the design allowing for shading and achieving a southerly facing aspect. The installed solar energy system is outperforming forecasts with a 5% over production at 54,000 kWhrs output per annum.

Berryplants have seen immediate savings as a result of the installation and have achieved a cash positive pay back profile. Their environmental footprint has been reduced through the CO 2 savings delivered.

Facilities that run chillers are one of the best consumption profiles to achieve the highest ROI from solar PV as demand for electric mirror solar production due to the association with heat and sun.  Operating in south Kent where solar PV yields are particularly high, the building lent itself to overproducing with no impact from shading and a south-facing pitched roof.

Feedback

“A plant operating chillers are perfect for a solar energy installation as the time when a refrigeration system is used most (warm weather and Summer) coincides with the peak output of the installation (increased light and Summer). As a result we see a highly efficient system matching the generation profile with the electricity overhead profile.

Berryplants have enjoyed the significant benefit of solar energy as a result and have substantially reduced their electricity costs as a result.”