Greenhouse gas emissions and electricity demand will be slashed at a major South Australian poultry farm with the switching on of a Tesla lithium-ion battery system.
The Riverlands Free Range (RFR) poultry complex at Blanchetown is operated by Brisbane-based AAM Investments Group which manages $300 million of rural assets including the Regional Livestock Exchange portfolio of eight major selling centres.
AAM is also Australia's second biggest poultry producer delivering about 20 million free range and RSPCA-certified chickens to Inghams each year from its Riverlands and Murray Bridge farms.
AAM managing director Garry Edwards said the combined 2.28 megawatt hours from a Tesla lithium-ion battery system operating in conjunction with 1.4MW solar panels spread across shed rooftops would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 62 per cent and cut network energy demand by more than 70pc.
He said the $2.6 million battery project was part of a $4.9m energy sustainability project rolled out across the facility early last year aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 970 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
"This is equivalent to the power required to run 650 homes for a year and illustrates how AAM is implementing sustainability measures across agriculture," he said.
"AAM has been informed this is the largest energy storage battery installation on any commercially operating farm in Australia," Mr Edwards said.
"The RFR farms will now be completely powered by renewable energy about 65pc of the time.
"The battery lets us store and then use this energy at peak times in the afternoon or early morning, and to fill the battery from the network in times of low power pricing.
"The onsite battery capacity now provides enough storage to power the entire complex for about four hours every day, enabling the business to reduce and manage our exposure to the volatility of the wholesale energy market while simultaneously cutting demand on the SA energy network.
"This project is yet another successful demonstration of how agricultural businesses can be highly innovative and play an important role in the entire solution of moving Australia to a low-carbon future."
Mr Edwards also thanked the SA Government for its investment in the project through funding provided via the Energy Productivity Program.
"This project is a great example of how government and the private sector can effectively collaborate to develop innovative solutions that create a platform that will benefit the agricultural industry, the environment and the broader community," Mr Edwards said.
AAM also has significant investments in timber and the pastoral industry including a newly-acquired aggregation of three properties in Central Queensland.
It has just bought 13,500 cows and calves from the Hughes Pastoral Group's Georgina Pastoral Company for the venture.