How Lycopodium is assisting Victorian farmers to save energy
Process engineering is often associated with the chemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing or food & beverage industries where it is employed to help design, build and optimise industrial processing plants and their associated technologies. Lycopodium, through our Process Industries division, is employing the very same techniques and expertise that make us an authority in those industries to assess and recommend opportunities to reduce the energy cost burden of primary producers throughout Victoria.
Partnered with State Government
Lycopodium Process Industries was accepted on to the Victorian Government’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources’ (DEDJTR) energy expert panel to help deliver the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan (AEIP), providing independent expert advice on energy efficiency and own-generation opportunities by way of on-farm energy assessments.
Initially cooperating with the Victorian Government to help assess energy efficiency in industry, Lycopodium Process Industries’ expertise with agricultural processing facilities, processing facilities in general and sustainability has demonstrated our capability to handle large farm audits, thus securing our place on the AEIP panel.
What is the AEIP?
Announced in December 2017, the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan will make available $30 million in Government grants to support initiatives identified through the assessment process. The initiative seeks to improve on-farm energy efficiency and productivity by facilitating own-generation capacity and by boosting the efficiency of current and future operations.
The Government is offering to co-contribute $1 for every $1 provided by eligible primary producers - up to a maximum of $50,000 per project – until March 2020 or until available funding is exhausted. Interested farm operators may even choose to work collaboratively with other local farmers to participate in the AEIP by submitting a joint application.
The Assessment Process
During a typical on-farm assessment, a Lycopodium engineering specialist will analyse the farm’s historical energy usage, then conduct a site audit in order to understand the equipment and operational setup. The usage is then benchmarked against a similar facility working at best practice. Finally, Lycopodium will recommend practical, financially viable energy efficiency and energy generation opportunities aimed at cost-saving benefits, often with the secondary effect of helping to make the operation run better.
Recommendations & Grants
Facing increasing electricity prices, many farmers are already experts at keeping their operations efficient in order to extract the most economical returns. It is in the more complex areas of renewable energy, waste to energy, energy recovery and process optimisation that they require specialist advice.
The AEIP now seeks to make these technologies more attainable as they have high upfront costs. It is only early days in the assessments but Solar PV, Variable Speed Drives (VSDs), heat recovery and LED lighting replacements are common opportunities for most farm operators.
For more information regarding the AEIP visit the Agriculture Victoria website or contact Lycopodium Process Industries via the contact details on our website.