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Solar energy

Adapting renewable energy concepts to irrigated sugarcane production at Bundaberg

  • $446k

    ARENA Funding

  • $890k

    Total Project Value

  • Project basics

    ARENA Program

    Advancing renewables

    Lead Organisation

    Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group

    Start Date

    Feb 2017

    Project Partners

    NA

    Location

    Bundaberg

    Status

    Current

Project Basics

ARENA Program

Advancing renewables

Lead Organisation

Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group

Start Date

Feb 2017

Project Partners

NA

Location

Bundaberg

Status

Current

The Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group have received funding from ARENA to conduct a 3 year field trial to demonstrate the economic benefits of using renewable energy (specifically solar) to power traditional irrigation methods of sugarcane crops.

A solar pumping trial will be conducted on a winch irrigated sugarcane farm over a period of 3 years. The trial will examine:

  • a suite of appropriate renewable energy options and irrigation system configurations;
  • appropriate changed farm management practices specifically suited to renewable energy to overcome constraints to adoption;
  • any increases in cane production yield achieved as a function of increased irrigation and renewable energy integration;
  • knowledge and capacity of irrigators to confidently invest in renewable energy to augment irrigation pumping energy requirements used in sugarcane production;
  • the financial viability of the concept.

Project innovation

This project demonstrates how methods currently used in Australia to irrigate large crops such as sugarcane can be at least partly, if not fully, powered by solar energy.

Benefit

The project will demonstrate that it is possible to replace some or all grid supplied daytime electricity requirements used for sugarcane irrigation with a sustainable low carbon, solar photo-voltaic (PV) electricity supply to reduce the impact of high cost peak demand electricity.

Contact information

Dale Holliss

dale_holliss@bdbcanegrowers.com.au