Together with BioSelena and Trakia University, Norges Vel has established a pilot plant for renewable energy in three Bulgarian dairy farms. In addition to improved milk quality and climate smart energy consumption, cow milk producer Danchev in Dobrodan saves 9.500 Norwegian kroner annually, a sum equivalent to three months of average salary in Bulgarian agriculture.
Danchev opened recently his farm to visitors. At the farm, visitors are invited to see the facility where renewable energy from solar collectors, burning of wood pellet combined with heat exchange from the fresh milk, provides cost efficient and environmental friendly energy for better milk quality and increased revenues. See pictures from the farm above (all photos: Iva Tontcheva / BioSelena ).
Project goals are achieved
All three farms have achieved increased milk quality, reduced costs and increased use of renewable energy. In addition, they have achieved:
- Hot water for cleaning and maintenance of milking equipment
- Increased knowledge of systems for renewable energy among farmers, dairy farmers and other stakeholders
- Sufficient hot water to the employees at the farms
- Heating of the farm buildings
This figures shows the calculated annual financial savings of the three farms
- Momino Selo: 1546 BGN (7522 NOK)
- Dobrodan: 1943 BGN (9453 NOK)
- Tzar Kaloyan: 1441 BGN (7011 NOK)
By comparison, the average monthly salary in Bulgarian agriculture in 2015 was 680 Bulgarian Lev equivalent to 3300 Norwegian kroner.
In this pilot project half of the investment costs of about 107,500 Norwegian kroner, have been covered by the farmers themselves, the rest is covered by the project funds. A farm with about 100 cows, such as Danchevi's farm in Dobrodan, is expected to repay the equipment within 5.5 years.
Sharing experiences with other milk producers
The project was established with the aim of contributing to sustainable development and green innovation in Bulgarian agriculture. By using renewable energy sources, the project will stimulate to an increased use/utilisation of environmental friendly energy and improved milk quality.
- This project is soon coming to an end, but BioSelena will continue to inform about the good experiences. The goal is of course that more Bulgarian milk producers will introduce similar solutions on their farms, says project manager Jorunn Tønnesen in the Royal Norwegian Society for Development.
Collaboration with BioSelena and Trakia University
The agricultural related Bulgarian organization BioSelena initiated this cooperation with Norges Vel on the basis of a previous successful collaboration. Trakia University provides an arena for knowledge collection and dissemination and will also use the farm facilities for assignments for their student.
The two-year long energy efficiency project is funded through Norway Grants under the EEA agreement, and is awarded a subsidy of 200 000 Euro. Innovation Norway is managing the funds through the program "Green industry innovation in Bulgaria".