VIDEO: Turning to solar – an apple farmer’s story

Businesses across Australia are turning to solar power for their daily energy needs, and what better example than a farmer and his wife, who rely on the sun’s energy not only for a successful farming season, but also for the energy needed to run their apple business. 

Terry and Caroline Burgi operate Burgi’s Cool Store, a fruit orchard and cold store facility 43km North East of Melbourne. The couple installed solar panels to their business in April, 2015, as a way to reduce costs and rely on a more sustainable and green power source for their business.

Find out more about Terry and Caroline’s passion for solar energy and how it’s helping them run a sustainable business.

Fruitful thinking at Burgi’s Cool Store – Using solar energy to power a small business

Using solar to reduce their carbon footprint

Working the land for most of their life, Terry and his wife Caroline believe in minimising their carbon footprint and leaving the land in a good condition. 

“Caroline and I basically have a philosophy of leaving things better than we found them. And part of that philosophy is to use something like solar energy that cuts down on the demand from the wider electricity grid – and it’s cheaper,” Terry said.

The ‘pear’ grow apples, lemons, plums and apricots, which they pick from around Christmas time, through to the end of May. To maintain a supply year-round, the couple also operate a cool store on their property, which allows them to sell apples right through to the following Christmas.

“Our philosophy is to leave things better than we found them. And part of that philosophy is to use solar energy.”

The Burgi family have strong roots in the region, with members having lived in Gruyere for over a decade. The orchard itself has been in the family since the 1880’s, when Terry’s Grandfather first turned the sod.

Solar power for home and business

To properly operate the cool store requires 24-hour refrigeration and an irrigation system that runs for 48-hours a week in summer, so a reliable and efficient energy source is key to the businesses success. The same power system also runs a fruit packing plant that runs for six hours a week throughout the whole year.

Terry and Caroline were already using solar in their home, so it was a logical choice to incorporate solar into their business. In addition to the financial benefits, both Terry and Caroline saw value in using a renewable, sustainable energy and a powerful parallel in using the sun to grow fruit and power their business.

“Most farmers if not all, realise that our energy all comes from the sun, whether for growing plants, or creating fossil fuels, or in our case, creating solar energy for our power supply. It’s just an integral part of our lives,” said Terry.

“For farmers, all our energy comes from the sun, for growing, and for our business. The sun is an integral part of our lives.”

Tax Incentives and Interest Free

If you are buying a system for $20,000 or less you can choose our interest free payment plan with 5% deposit over 24 months (when you pay by credit card). Small businesses who opt to purchase a system outright may also be eligible for accelerated depreciation for systems costing less than $20,000, this offer is available until the 30 June 2017, and to learn more go to Origin website or

Australia’s leading solar installer

Our commercial solar team have been recognised by SunWiz – Solar Consulting as Australia’s leader in the space, this year to date, in the 10 to 100kW range.

Whether you’re running a manufacturing, agricultural or retail business, solar can be a great way of reducing your energy costs. Check out how we’re helping businesses of all shapes and sizes, from a range of industries, make the switch.

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