The number of FrieslandCampina dairy farmers participating in the dairy cooperative’s solar programme has increased from 310 to 654.
With this, the number of solar panels used by the farmers has doubled to over 800,000, which FrieslandCampina said is the equivalent to the size of about 200 football fields.
These solar panels together generate over 200 GWh of energy per year and now the company can cover 40% of its energy demand for its production locations and offices through solar.
Dutch company GroenLeven installs and manages the solar panels and through the deal FrieslandCampina farmers are offered to the chance to hire out their shed roofs to install the panels.
GroenLeven takes care of the connection, monitoring, financing and maintenance of the panels. The dairy farmers will receive an annual premium of €4 per panel for making the roof available.
Through its solar programme, FrieslandCampina wants to make a contribution to the objectives of the dairy farming sector concerning the reduction of greenhouse gases. It pays its members a bonus of €10 per ton reduction of CO2 emissions.
Hein Schumacher, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina, said: “The ambition of FrieslandCampina is to fully cover the use of electricity within the chain with green electricity generated at the farm yards. We are enthusiastic about the progress we have made so far with solar panels on shed roofs and therefore we want to accelerate this process in 2018 and double the number of solar panels.
“We are making investments now in order to be able to work circularly in the future. This is perfectly in line with our objective to reward our member dairy farmers for their commitment to sustainability.”
The news follows last year’s announcement that FrieslandCampina aims to reach climate-neutral growth by 2020 after securing a manure monofermentation system deal.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019