05 Aug 2022

‘Green’ poultry farming heats up with geothermal innovation

A new hybrid geothermal and solar energy system is set to dramatically reduce emissions and energy costs for many Australian […]

‘Green’ poultry farming heats up with geothermal innovation

A new hybrid geothermal and solar energy system is set to dramatically reduce emissions and energy costs for many Australian poultry farms.

The University of Melbourne has teamed up with geothermal companies Ground Source Systems and Fourth Element Energy to create a hybrid geothermal and solar heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system specifically for the poultry industry.

The project is funded through a $318,000 grant from the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which supports the global transition to net zero emissions by accelerating pre-commercial innovation.

The project will demonstrate how the energy demands of sheds can be coordinated with on-site renewable energy production, showing both economic and environmental benefits to farmers to further support the uptake of the technology across the industry.

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The project’s first stage will see a demonstration, full-scale hybrid system installed and optimised for efficiency at the commercial poultry farm Bargo in Yanderra, NSW, this year.

University of Melbourne Professor Guillermo Narsilio said the collaborators have identified 827 poultry farms across Australia that meet the conditions needed to transition to hybrid geothermal and solar energy.

“Australia is in an ideal position to lead the development of this technology and reap the benefits in several intensive farming sectors,” Professor Narsilio said.

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“We have world-class engineering expertise, ideal solar conditions, and the space to install geothermal systems. If we can achieve 15 to 20 per cent market uptake in the Australian poultry industry, it would reduce at least one tenth, or 160,000 tonnes of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project is expected to




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