Fair Cape Dairies has installed a 560 kW solar power plant at its operations, allowing it to produce fresh milk off grid during daylight hours.
This facility will generate about one-million kilowatt-hours of energy and will save about 400 000 kg of carbon dioxide a year.
Fair Cape switched over to powering its milking parlour entirely with solar power during daylight hours in October 2018, and this solar plant now represents further significant progress in Fair Cape’s efforts to stay true to environment-friendly principles in its business practices, the company said in a statement.
Further to using solar energy at the milking parlour, which has reduced the need for coal-derived energy by around 150 000 kWh/y, Fair Cape changed its Eco-Fresh milk bottle in 2019 from white polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to clear PET – which is also made with 30% recycled material – to make it more recyclable and encourage recycling at a consumer level.
Moreover, developing its waste sorting and handling infrastructure has resulted in diverting 1.5-million kilogrammes of solid waste from landfill during 2020, and the recycling of wash water at the milking parlour for non-potable use and irrigation at the farm saves nine-million litres of water a month.
Fair Cape also recycles the cows’ dung, spraying it back onto their lands as fertiliser. This recovery of waste not only reduces greenhouse-gas emissions and replenishes the earth with nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other micronutrients, but has also reduced the use of chemical fertilisers by about 20%.