Solar meets horse power for Kilmacolm farmer

The marriage of modern solar power and old-fashioned horse power has come together for one Kilmacolm farmer.

As a director of the Clydesdale Horse Society and active breeder, with five Clydesdale mares on the farm, Captain Jim Anderson is accustomed to utilising horse power. But the 67-year-old decided to branch out into renewable energy in order to reduce his electricity bills and supplement his income.

Capt. Anderson, who, with his wife Jean, owns West Glen Farm just outside the rural Inverclyde village, has had a 40 solar PV panel system installed at his 200 acre farm, adjacent to the steading.

Capt. Anderson said: "I had been contemplating renewable energy sources for quite some time and decided to go ahead with solar as it was going to be a quicker and simpler process than having a wind turbine installed.

Anderson, who grew up in Kilmacolm and worked at West Glen Farm as a teenager, has had a lifelong interest in Clydesdales.

The former supertanker ship’s captain and marine pilot was brought up tending to Clydesdales and still drives the horses in traditional agricultural carts and commercial drays. However, Capt. Anderson, who is also Vice-Chairman of The Glasgow Agricultural Society, is now keen to embrace this modern energy source.

He added: "One Clydesdale has a horsepower of about 750 watts, whereas my solar panel system is a 10 kilowatt installation – equivalent, at maximum output, to about 13 Clydesdales."

The system will generate about 10,000 kilowatt/hours of green electricity per year which is the equivalent energy needed for three typical homes.