Facing myriad challenges to running a flourishing nursery, Tall Trees has gone solar to create a reliable power supply that secures their access to water and ensures continued quality trees and shrubs for their customers.
For over 10 years Tall Trees has been connected to recycled water, which has proven time and time again to be a savior for the nursery during times of drought. In addition, this practice has benefitted the local recycling plant and the environment by using the water for actively growing plants, rather that have it wash out into one of the local beaches.
While the security of the supply of water has been beneficial, over recent years Tall Trees has had to deal with another issue that threatens nurseries - power. It is all well and good to have access to unlimited water, but if the power goes out, then so do the pumps that move that water and distribute it across the nursery.
A lack of water during winter in Victoria isn’t overly concerning, as a day or two without water isn’t going to harm any of the plants. However, in the middle of a 35-degree day with 30 knot northerly’s blowing through the nursery, one day without water can spell disaster.
Tall Trees has tried diesel generators, but found them unreliable, clunky and cumbersome. With the summer approaching and the power supply to the Morning Peninsula becoming ever less reliable, Tall Trees though it was time to invest in some power security and put control back into their own hands.
On the north facing roof of the newly built dispatch shed lays an array of over 100 solar panels, lined up in a perfect grid, collecting solar radiation. The collected energy is stored in battery banks, ready to be drawn down as needed to operate every function the nursery as required. Most importantly the irrigation system!
With the implementation of an effective solar energy system, Tall Trees can now run a full watering cycle of the nursery on one complete battery charge, with enough left over to keep the communications systems in the office running uninterrupted.
The independence and security offered from the 35kW system was the only responsible choice to remove the unacceptable level of risk posed to the nursery from the environment. No expense was spared, from the components used to the contractors installing the system. Tall Trees wanted the best, most reliable and well-built system they could get their hands on. This being said, the savings on electricity and the small rebate for excess power being funneled back into the grid mean that the whole investment will be recouped within approximately eight years.
There are numerous factors that go into ensuring the quality of greenlife for landscaping projects. Nurseries are growers of living products that can’t just be stored on a shelf or hidden in a factory until they are called upon to be installed. Plants require constant care, regardless of whether or not they are due to be planted in a new landscape. They don’t care if the power is off or if the dam is empty, they need what they need, and nurseries have to find a way to provide to ensure they not only survive but thrive.