Renewable diversification makes financial sense on Welsh hill farm

Case Study

Rhys Anwyl is a third-generation farmer at Garreghylldren Farm in Gwynedd, North Wales. The family, consisting of Rhys’ wife Carys, their children Lowri and Cai, and Rhys’ parents Lewys and Ellen, farm 70 cattle and 450 Welsh Mountain Sheep on a thousand acres of mountainous land.

Rhys made the decision in 2014 to diversify his farm by swapping one acre of grazing land for an ‘electric crop’, compromising of solar panels. “With the impending changes to UK agriculture, diversifying our income seemed like a sensible option to strengthen us financially and build business resilience,” comments Rhys.
After Rhys invested in a 200kW solar farm, which was installed in 2015, his next step was to ensure he got the best price for his energy, so he went to market. On the recommendation of a family friend, who was in part responsible for facilitating PPAs for the National Trust, Rhys got in touch with Limejump.
“I didn’t know a great deal about PPAs until I contacted Limejump. After talking through potential options, Limejump recommended I secured a 12-month fixed PPA to take advantage of the high power prices at the time,” explains Rhys. In early 2021, tight market conditions and cold spells in Europe and Asia were reducing Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) supply to the continent, causing higher prices.

“We were very happy to facilitate the opportunity for Rhys to capitalise on the rising market prices,” explains Hamish Conway, Business Development Manager at Limejump. “The fixed price PPA guaranteed budget certainty and helped reduce Rhys’ exposure to market fluctuations, which proved effective as energy markets grew increasingly volatile towards the end of 2021,” he adds.
“Rhys was so impressed by our hassle-free PPA process that he recommended us to his uncle, Rheinallt. We then worked with Rheinallt and his local community to build a large energy portfolio from four turbines, for which we secured a lucrative 12-month fixed PPA due to the market uncertainty caused by the blocked Suez Canal,” comments Hamish.
“Our 12-month PPA contract is coming to an end soon, and because of our excellent experience of working with Limejump, we look forward to discussing our best options with them, knowing they will deliver a good deal for us,” concludes Rhys.