SBRI: Maximising renewable energy generation and local utilisation from farm (and growing) assets whilst maintaining agricultural yields

Cardiff and Monmouthshire Councils are looking for ways to incorporate green energy into the food supply chain.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

29/08/2023

Registration Closes

09/10/2023

Award

Contracts will be awarded to successful proposals of up to £0.8m to deliver the demonstrator and up to £1m for scale up of the demonstration model. 

Organisation

Welsh Government

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This competition is a ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of Cardiff Capital Region (CCR), Cardiff Council and Monmouthshire Council, to accelerate innovation in the CCR region and enable projects to develop innovative solutions which can significantly improve the sustainable production and supply of food. There are four simultaneous challenges: click here to see details of all four.

An online briefing event (covering all four challenges) will be held on Thursday 21st September, 10am-11.30am: click here to register for a place.

The challenge: maximising renewable energy generation

This challenge is an opportunity to demonstrate a developed solution and add value by addressing where farms (and urban growing systems) could be generating, storing, and utilising green energy, lowering operational energy costs and sharing the savings into the supply chain while maintaining production capacity.

As part of a wider strategy to optimise regional farm (and growing assets) production with its local marketplace, this challenge is seeking innovations that can be easily and cost effectively implemented on farms to lower energy use, enhance efficiency or reduce emissions across any aspect of the farm and other assets in scope (excluding large vehicles).

This challenge aims to capture the potential renewable/embedded energy available on site in readiness for capture, storage, and utilisation in the day to day running of the farm. In conjunction, explore where the energy profiles of the buildings and the processes they harbour can be lowered and optimised. The objective is to provide viable and demonstrable new solutions that target the energy costs of farm operation, make better use of the embedded energy potential, and underpin a lower carbon footprint strategy whilst being mindful that interventions need to be financially viable and return tangible economic benefits.

Who can apply?

Any organisation can submit an application, although it is expected that opportunities presented by SBRI will be particularly attractive for SMEs. Pre-startup companies may apply, but contracts must be awarded to legal entities. Universities may apply; however they must demonstrate a route to market, i.e.the application must include a plan to commercialise the results.

In Scope

  • Near market ready solutions are invited for innovative interventions and the method of demonstration deployment whilst being mindful of matters relating to reasonable installation costs to the farming, growers, and producer communities.

Inviting innovative solutions that address one of more of the following areas:

  • Farm scale microgrid systems.
  • Farm scale ammonia-hydrogen generation, storage, and utilisation.
  • Farm scale energy systems enabling site-wide energy balancing.
  • Feasible solutions to enable peer to peer trading between farm (and growing assets) and neighbouring energy loads.
  • Off-grid energy systems.
  • Green energy systems to offset energy intensive processes e.g milk production (milking and pasteurisation), dairy produce production and poultry processes.
  • Systems to drive energy efficiency that deliver co-locate farms/growers with food processing operation.
  • Viable renewable clean/green energy systems specifically targeting the extensive energy requirements for hydroponics and vertical farming (closed environment) solutions. Please see out of scope section below.
  • Off-the-shelf solutions may be considered if innovation can be demonstrated.

Out of scope

Important: Proposals to generate and capitalise on clean energy production to the detriment of the production capacity of the farm will be deemed out of scope.

  • Solutions that focus on energy capture where the infrastructure installation will lower the production capacity of the farm.
  • Standard energy generation schemes that export power to national energy grid network bypassing the farm energy load or requirements.
  • Standard vertical farming solutions including off-the-shelf hydroponics systems unable to demonstrate net zero or captured green energy systems.
  • Large scale infrastructure upgrades.
  • Solutions tailored for deployment outside of the Cardiff Capital Region.
  • Non innovative off-the-shelf solutions.

Funding Allocation and Project Details

The competition will run in two phases (demonstrator and scale up). Applications will be assessed using the evaluation criteria provided in the tender documents.

Contracts will be awarded to successful proposals of up to £0.8m to deliver the demonstrator and up to £1m for scale up of the demonstration model.

All sums indicated are exc. of VAT (net).

  • Demonstrator contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration proposals. It is anticipated that projects will run for 10 months. Up to £0.8m of funding per project has been assigned to this phase.  The final allocation of budget to projects will be difficult to predict at this stage so applicants are encouraged to consider a range of delivery options and budgets in their proposals to maximise the funding available.
  • Scale Up contracts are intended to provide organisations, successful in demonstrator phase, with an opportunity to scale up their innovative solutions, and it is anticipated that projects will run for a maximum of 12 months. Up to £1m of funding per project has been assigned to this phase. Again, final allocation of budget to projects will be difficult to predict at this stage so applicants are encouraged to consider a range of delivery options and budgets in their proposals to maximise the funding available.
  • The total funding for the Challenge can change and the funders have the right to:
    • Adjust the provisional funding allocation between the Phases; and
    • Apply a portfolio approach.

For full details of funding, technical and functional requirements, and timescales, visit the SBRI Centre of Excellence at the link below.

For any enquiries about this competition e-mail: foodchallenge@cardiff.gov.uk

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