Congratulations to Foyle Hovercrafting and Leisure – Foylehov – who have turned to the sun for their energy. They have just installed 26 x 250w solar panels at their Carrowmena Farm premises outside Limavady in Co Derry, which can provide up to 6.5 kwh of electricity.
The 6.5kwh is based on the assumption of a full day of sunshine and brightness every day but a more realistic estimation is that it will generate approx 4.5 kwh on average – which they reckon is still more than enough for them…
Foylehov offer a range of adrenalin-fulled outdoor activities such as: Hovercrafting, Powerturn Buggying, Laser Clay Shooting, Target Archery and Max Combat laser combat . They set up the business as part of a rural diversification programme.
The new solar panels will power the farmhouse and the outbuildings and whatever electricity is not used is returned to the national grid. By selling the unused electricity back to the grid it should take them roughly 5 to 6 years to payback the original capital cost of the scheme.
The new solar panel system was installed by Altec Solar, a specialist company based just outside Limavady (www.altec-solar.com). They were installed on a south facing roof of one of the farm outbuildings to maximise the exposure to the sun during the day. Believe it or not, in the early 1900s this same outbuilding is where the Clydesdale horses were kept. The horses were used to work on the farm before tractors became common. It has now been a month since the panels were installed so the lads say they have almost stopped checking the output every hour!!!