A NSW Government website

On-farm energy pilot projects

drone shot of dairy shed with solar panels cooling vat and cows approaching

NSW DPIRD implemented 7 pilot projects across 8 sites to demonstrate innovative technologies and practices to improve on-farm energy efficiency, energy security and productivity and to reduce on-farm energy use, costs and emissions. The pilots were implemented at farms located across NSW in intensive sub-sectors including dairy, horticulture and feedlots.

Technological solutions demonstrated in the pilot projects include: solar thermal chilled water storage and control systems for milk cooling; electrification of irrigation pumps powered by a solar photo voltaic tracking system raised above the ground to enable livestock grazing in the same location; solar photovoltaic and battery storage systems; electrification of LPG and diesel fuelled equipment; and, peer to peer energy trading.

Final pilot case study summaries

Written and video case studies of each of the pilot projects have been created to inform the agricultural sector and reduce the risks associated with the adoption of innovative technologies. Click on the following links to view each pilot's written and video summary of each respective pilot:

Avondale FeedlotWritten case study (PDF, 1531.58 KB)Video Summary
Dairy NSWWritten case study (PDF, 903.85 KB)Video Summary
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High SchoolWritten case study (PDF, 1350.42 KB)Video Summary
Haddon Rig StudWritten case study (PDF, 1185.61 KB)Video Summary
Pecora DairyWritten case study (PDF, 1277.88 KB)Video Summary
Rosnay Organic WinesWritten case study (PDF, 944.67 KB)Video Summary
The Pines Dairy Written case study (PDF, 972.94 KB)Video Summary

drone photo looking down on solar panels on bright green pasture

Below is a map showing the location of the pilot sites. Click on each location to view the project description.


Pilot project

Site location

Total project cost

DPIRD grant


Electrification and automation of grain mill; off-grid single axis tracking solar photovoltaics (PV) + lithium ion battery + backup genset




Dairy NSW

Solar powered chilled water storage and control system for milk cooling

Jones Island, Wingham



Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Electrification of irrigation pumps and raised single axis solar PV tracking system to power irrigation pumps and demonstrate Agrivoltaics




Haddon Rig Stud

Grid connected solar PV with a battery backup system to supply electrical equipment to three independent electrical systems and improve reliability of electricity supply on site




Pecora Dairy

On farm energy generation with solar panels, flow batteries and peer to peer energy trading; electrification of LPG fuelled equipment




Rosnay Organic

On farm energy generation with solar panels, flow batteries and peer to peer energy trading; electrification of diesel fuelled equipment




The Pines

On farm energy generation with solar panels, flow batteries and peer to peer energy trading








A rigorous evaluation process was undertaken to select proponents to participate in the pilot projects. This commenced with an initial public request for proposals in September 2019 for which 21 proposals were received. The proposals were evaluated by an independent project steering committee and 11 proposals were selected to have expert feasibility studies undertaken in the first half of 2020. The results of the feasibility studies were evaluated by the steering committee against merit criteria and seven proposals were selected to proceed to pilot projects. Due diligence was completed in mid-2020, with the competitive selection process being informed by technical, legal and independent probity advice at every stage.

This video provides an explanation of the pilot selection process.

On 11 December 2020, the Hon Minister Adam Marshall publicly announced those projects to proceed to pilot with NSW DPIRD contributing 50% of total project cost with a total co-investment of $2.5 million.

Feasibility studies

Links to an overview of the feasibility case studies and summary of each of the funded studies can be found below:

Energy efficiency webinar

The following is a recording of a NSW DPIRD Sustainability webinar recorded on 8 October 2021 titled Improving Energy Efficiency to Reduce Carbon Emissions. The webinar focuses on the Energy Efficiency Solutions on-farm energy pilot projects with a project overview from Project Research Officer, Michael Cashen. You will also hear directly from three diverse NSW based farmers involved with the project who recently completed the journey from concept to deployment of their energy efficiency hubs.