It’s a common myth that renewable energy projects need to be three things to make a difference: large-scale, expensive, and long-term.
But this story tells of a farmer who turned to renewable energy generation and found that he could not only sustain his farm’s energy needs, but also make profits – all within five months, with just one solitary wind turbine.
It’s the kind of success story that proves why independent businesses like farms are the ones who can benefit extraordinarily by embracing renewable investments. Introducing Jonathan Sharp – the award-winning owner of Tewitt Hall Farm.
Jonathan Sharp is the third generation in his family to stand at the helm of Tewitt Hall Farm. His ‘office’ sits on the hills of Oakworth, a village in the heart of West Yorkshire. Its primary function is being a dairy farm, and the farm and its workforce produce around one million litres of milk a year. This is then sold on to supermarket chain Asda.
Being located in the hilly region of Yorkshire means that Jonathan’s farm has a distinct advantage – aside from having some spare land, it’s also 1,200 feet above sea level. With this height, the wind speeds hit an average of 6.3m/s – perfect conditions for a wind turbine.
With the help of turbine installer, Earthmill, Mr Sharp came to Opus Energy through a recommendation and finally his ambition for a more sustainable, more profitable farm began to see fruition, back in 2012.
The 50kW turbine was installed on one of Jonathan’s fields, and thanks to some careful positioning its success was instantaneous. In a mere two months, the turbine generated 57,000kWh. In just five months, Tewitt Hall Farm was generating enough renewable energy to completely power Jonathan’s milking parlour, as well as the equivalent of 50 domestic homes a year.
So what does the farm do with the excess energy?
This is where Jonathan makes the jump from sustainable to successful. Any spare energy he generates is bought from him by Opus Energy – so every time his turbine experiences a windy spell, Tewitt Hall Farm is making money.
“The turbine will continue to earn us a good income for the farm for at least another 15 years,” comments Jonathan. “It’s currently being used to power the milking parlour and farmhouse, which helps reduce our electricity bill by approximately £500 per month!”
And he’s not the only one who’s generating this sort of success for his business with renewable energy. Andy Dayus, Head of Renewable Operations at Opus Energy, explains:
“Mr Sharp of Tewitt Hall Farm is just one of the 1700 independent generators from across the UK who Opus Energy has helped to generate renewable electricity. We’re proud of the relationship we build up with our generators over the years, especially as 97% of the generators we work with choose to renew with us. I think this is testament to our knowledge and experience in the industry and the great customer service and support the team offer to all our generators.”
If you’d like to find out any more about generating your own renewable energy, or would like to read more case studies like Tewitt Hall Farm, you can find the information by visiting our dedicated renewables page: http://www.opusenergy.com/renewables/