Norfolk poultry farmer generates ‘green’ energy

Award-winning Norfolk poultry farmer Nigel Joice has achieved an energy “milestone” by exporting to the national grid. 

For the first time since the business invested in renewable energy strategy three years ago, it produced more power than it consumed.

Mr Joice, and his son, Patrick, welcomed young poultry producers to Uphouse Farm, South Raynham, near Fakenham. They told the 30 members of the joint National Farmers’ Union and ABN poultry industry programme that the primary goal was to produce quality chickens and minimise energy consumption.

Since 2010, they have invested in an energy centre, to warm the growing chickens, and installed solar panels.

The three arrays of photo-voltaic panels, rated to produce 450kW and mounted on roofs and on the ground, made the farm energy-positive for two days earlier this year.

Mr Joice, who started as a chicken producer in 1997, runs his flocks of birds on two self-contained farms with a team of three staff on each. To maintain strict bio-security, the staff only work on their “home” farm, he said. In a year, the 115-hectare arable farm finishes about six million table birds, roughly 12 million kg of chicken. It consumes about 20,000 tonnes of poultry feed.

The chickens produce about 8,500 tonnes of litter each year, which was a further challenge in the drive for energy production, he added.

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