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Cairnhill Farm

Girvan, Scotland, UK
Field: AgricultureIndependent energy production

Case

Cairnhill Farm, Girvan, Scotland, UK

Challenge

High energy costs and expensive boost in grid infrastructure

Solution

Two Volter 40 Indoors

Benefits

Significant monthly energy cost savings of over 11´000 GBP, return on investment in less than three years, carbon footprint reduced by 89%

Cairnhill Farm is located in Scotland, Ayrshire, on the coast of the Firth of Clyde, in the beautiful Girvan Valley. Side by side with the farm operates a butchery business and a meat processing facility We Hae Meat. Two Volter 40 Indoor Combined Heat and Power units are producing energy for both businesses.

Four generations of farming in Cairnhill

The two businesses are run and owned by Alex Paton and his wife, Carlyn. Alex is the fourth generation of Patons in Cairnhill. As previous three generation before him, Alex has expanded the farm over the years. He is following the footsteps and guideline of his father and grandfather; the main thing in your farming life is to hand over your farm in the better condition than you received it. And if you can do that, you have achieved something in your farming life.

Ten years ago Alex bought a local butcher shop with the idea of building a brand of his own beef. After a year the demand for his beef had grown from local stores to national wide. To meet the demand, they build meat processing facilities. Today We Hae Meat delivers sausages, steaks, beef and pies through the biggest grocery stores all over the UK.

11000GBP
Monthly savings
3Years
Return on investment
89%
Carbon footprint reduced

"The investment makes environmental sense, but there is no point of doing things that only makes environmental sense, it makes financial sense as well. The two need to go hand in hand. I love the fact that I can help environment and I love the fact that I have got a massive step over my competitors, because nobody else is doing it in Scotland."

Alex Paton, Cairnhill Farm

Significant savings in energy cost, return on investment in less than three years

With the growth of these two businesses in the recent decade to the current size, the energy demand has grown too. The size of the factory was tripled in 2016 and the energy consumption after that was 4000 kWh per day. This would have gathered approximately 12 000 pounds energy cost per month. An alternative way to produce energy was needed, and Alex started to search for options to produce own energy.

After learning about different Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, the decision was to invest in Volter 40 Indoor power plants. These CHPs have local support and backup, which secures CHPs running 365 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  That is a prerequisite for a farm and business of this size. After installing the CHPs, the energy cost of the businesses have been 800 – 900 pounds a month instead of 12 000. The return on the investment is less than three years.

Reducing carbon footprint by 89 %

The fuel for the CHPs comes from own, renewable woods. Cairnhill Farm’s and We Hae Meat’s carbon footprint has reduced 89 % after the Volter 40 Indoors were installed. Also, this being good for the environment, it gives Alex a unique marketing tool, making the investment even more profitable. The savings are phenomenal, and even if above all Alex and Carlyn are farmers and business owners, they feel that paying attention to the carbon footprint is the right thing to do.

Traditional knowledge accommodated with a local, modern day farming

As a family business owner, the Patons make an effort to ensure that their view of life is reflected in the products and services they offer.

The cattle are reared and butchered on the farm, and the meat is processed and packaged at their own factory and delivered to distributors. The young cattle are bought from a close distance, supporting the local economy and also keeping the costs reasonable.

Alex and Carlyn have an understanding that the way in which animals are treated affects the quality of meat. To ensure the well-being of their cattle, Alex feeds them with the best, carefully prepared, self-made food. Grass, grain, beans and potatoes to the animal feed mixture are grown in the farm in the purest and natural possible way and by going back to traditional methods of farming. For Alex this means good crop rotation, growing crops that the climate allows to grow naturally, ploughing, and doing necessary things at the end of the season, without using harmful fertilisers and insecticides.

“If you go back in generations, they didn’t have insecticides, so how did they farm? Rural is a lot of common sense, using modern technology to have traditional ways of going.”
 Alex Paton, Cairnhill Farm

Award winning meat producers

Alex and Carlyn Paton genuinely care about the environment, cattle, the community and its people. Numerous certificates and awards are telling the story of their commitment. They have been awarded several times for their persistent work with their products, for running a family business, for supporting their community and for the quality of their cattle.

The way they take care of their business gives a perfect example of local circular economy. They have grown their business and boosted the local economy through creating jobs locally, buying cattle from a close distance, feeding them with homegrown food-mixture and processing their meat products in their factory. All are powered by two Volter 40 Indoors running on fuel that is harvested on the farm.

Volter’s three values are passion, care and bravery. We can truly see these values also reflected in Alex and Carlyn Paton’s way of caring for their businesses. We are proud of contributing our small share to maintain the 4thgeneration legacy of Cairnhill Farm.

 

Volter 40 CHP

Solution: Volter 40 Indoor

Fuel: Woodchip Electric power: 40 kW Heating power: 100 + 20 kW

One Volter 40 Indoor produces enough electricity and heat for the annual needs of a farm, an entire small housing estate or small business. Our plants can be scaled up to multi-unit installations in order to meet the needs of growing energy demand across diverse applications. Electricity is produced by gasifying wood chips. Waste heat from the process can be used in hydronic underfloor heating, preheating of air-conditioning or domestic water, to name a few.

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