An on-farm solar photovoltaic (PV) system could be repaid within five years on some dairy farms, an exclusive report commissioned by the Irish Farmers Journal and carried out by Watt Footprint has found.

In one case study examined, nearly 80% of a 100-cow dairy farm’s electricity was met by solar PV.

Once repaid, the solar PV system can then generate electricity at very little cost to the farmer. Farms with lower energy usage can still see pay back periods of seven years or less where grant aid is secured, the report shows.

As energy cost continue to spiral, solar PV could play a role in rising prices.


Under the microgeneration support scheme, electricity produced from farms which is not used can be exported to the grid.

Farmers will be able to be paid a premium rate of €0.135/kWh for 15 years or receive the current wholesale market rate.

However, currently the volumes of electricity which can be exported to the grid are limited by the farms connection capacity, the maximum of which is 11kW.

A new process, still in development by the ESB will allow farms to export up to 50kW but remains months away from being launched.

Read more in our renewables Focus.