Grant scheme includes battery storage

Funding of between £35,000 and £1m is available for equipment including battery storage systems through the Improving Farm Productivity Grant (IFPG) in England.

Part of the RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme, the current round of this scheme closes on 3 December.

See also: Big grants on offer to improve farm productivity

Energy consultant FEC points out that the IFPG can also contribute to the cost of local heat network infrastructure and other energy efficiency projects, as well as robotic technology.

Funding towards up to 1MW of energy storage may be eligible, for a total cost of between £87,500 and £2.5m. 

Consultant Jon Swain of FEC said the battery storage option would be of interest to those who already had a large-scale wind or solar PV installation. Adding battery storage would allow these farmers to preserve the energy they generate for use at a time when bought-in power would be more expensive.

See also: 5 successful leader grant projects to inspire farmers

Alternatively they could preserve it to release to the grid at a time when they would receive a higher price for it.

With a minimum project size of £87,500, the scheme helps farmers in England develop a wide range of improvements, from innovative technology for crop and livestock production to improving nutrient management and making the best use of energy efficiency equipment.

Successful examples of applications include robotic kit for intra-row weeding, robotic milkers, and large-scale slurry application and digestate management equipment.