SOLAR energy production that’s good for farms, farmers and their local economies is the vision of a new founder at the SMART Region Incubator in Tamworth.
Ben Wynn of Wynergy will hold a series of information sessions for interested participants and potential investors next month.
He has patented and had a prototype made of a stock-proof solar tracker that gets maximum exposure to the sun while still allowing stock to graze underneath.
He wants Wynergy, with a small subsidiary company, to build small-scale solar farms on rural grazing land, provide energy royalty payments to the farmer, and sell the clean energy to rural communities.
Mr Wynn said this would keep the money circulating locally.
“I’d really love to shoot for a gigawatt of installed capacity by the 10-year mark and start to branch out all across regional NSW.”
Mr Wynn said the Wynergy solar trackers were modular, so the length of rows could be customised. They would be spaced about 10 metres apart.
“That allows farmers to continue to strip pasture-improve down those strips [and] it provides shade, potentially, for stock,” he said.
“There’s some research that suggests that the breaking up of wind and the addition of shade in the summertime will increase moisture levels under the panels and may actually enhance cropping.”
The single-axis tracker, made of galvanised steel and based on a 50-year working life, is designed to angle at least 48 photovoltaic panels towards the sun throughout the day to maximise solar energy production.
Mr Wynn said he’d always been passionate about sustainable energy and sustainable agriculture and his idea came when he asked himself the question: how can they co-exist seamlessly across Australia’s vast areas of grazing lands that don’t provide a reliable wind resource?
RSVP for the information sessions at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0466 433 223.
The sessions will be held with tea, coffee and nibblies at:
- Tamworth, UNE building, March 7, 5pm-7pm;
- Armidale, UNE SRI building, March 8, 5pm-7pm;
- Coonabarabran Bowling Club, March 13, 5.30pm-7pm;
- Gunnedah, Smithurst Theatre, March 14, 5pm-6.30pm;
- Quirindi RSL, March 15, 5.30pm-7pm
- Newcastle, Three76HUB, March 22, 5pm-5.50pm