Apley Farm Shop looks to a brighter, greener future

A farm shop has taken one step closer to its net zero carbon goals this week by installing solar panels.

Apley Farm Shop Village where solar panels have been installed
Apley Farm Shop Village where solar panels have been installed

Apley Farm Shop’s journey towards net zero carbon took another major step this week with the switching-on of its new solar array, making the popular destination near Bridgnorth 100 per cent self-sufficient in power from renewable energy.

The state-of-the-art panels next to the car park will produce just over 90 per cent of Apley’s daytime electricity requirements at the farm shop, including the Apley Kitchen.

Coupled with an existing 10kW array on the roof of the Apley Play Barn, they will ensure that the farm shop in Norton, Shifnal, and all the local businesses on the site are fully powered by renewables.

The solar panels have been installed by low carbon specialists, Noble Green Energy and took just over a week to install. It is predicted that the new array will generate around 67,500kWh per year which will deliver significant carbon emissions savings of 18.4 tonnes over the 12-month period. Any electricity generated that Apley doesn’t need will be automatically fed into the electricity grid.

All the heating at the farm shop, café and businesses on the site is provided by a district heating system using wood chip which will be sourced from the estate as part of its ongoing Forestry Commission accredited woodland management programme. The solar panels are the ideal power source for Apley Farm Shop because much of the power usage is for refrigeration as well as daytime cooking in the Apley Kitchen.

Lord Gavin Hamilton, owner of Apley, said: “Caring for our environment is at the heart of the way we work and how we make major decisions at Apley: from the farm shop to the way we manage our woodlands, agriculture and other business to make lasting environmental improvements across the whole of the estate.

"This solar array is one of a number of positive steps we are taking towards our target of net zero carbon.

"The Apley Team has a real commitment to the environment, greater biodiversity and net zero carbon as part of our overall Apley Plan. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Apley Farm Shop opening to the public, and we’ve got a series of exciting events and announcements to make throughout the rest of the year.”

Ed Reynolds, sales manager at Noble Green Energy added: “Solar Photovoltaic (PV) is a tried and tested technology, and at Noble Green Energy we use only the highest quality products from the world’s leading manufacturers. We were absolutely delighted to provide our services to Apley, who wanted to invest in onsite low carbon technologies to ultimately fulfil their vision and help to tackle the climate emergency.”

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