Sun shines on fish farm

Houghton Springs Fish Farm in Dorset has become the first fish farm in the country to invest in solar power. The 10kWp system installed by The Energy Conservation Group will make a major contribution to cutting the farms energy bills and will benefit from 25 years of guaranteed income from the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

The hatchery at Houghton Springs is home to over 1 million young trout and arctic char, all of which have to be constantly oxygenated by a  pumping system.

Hans Hoff, the farm’s founder and owner, said “farming high quality fish is a hugely competitive business, and accelerating energy costs have made life extremely difficult over the last few years. We already recycle our water to protect the environment, so investing in renewable energy to power our pumps was an inevitable next step made a lot easier by the Feed-in Tariff scheme”.

The government announced a revision of the scheme to reduce Feed-in Tariff rates
further and earlier than expected. Asked if Mr Hoff would have invested at the new, reduced rates he said: “I am delighted to have qualified for the current rates, but having seen the forecast return on the proposed new Feed-in Tariffs, I probably would have gone ahead anyway. It’s still a very good investment and an excellent way to hedge against inevitable further increases in energy costs”.

David Sanderson from The Energy Conservation Group said: “We see a great future for Solar PV in the UK for both home and business owners. Any business with a south facing roof and high energy bills should be looking at it as a way to mitigate those costs, and we have a large number of significant commercial installations that still plan to go ahead under the new Feed-in Tariff scheme in early 2012”.