Interview with Antonio Sartor
Azienda Agricola Antonio Sartor
One of the best investments of my life.
The 330 kW biogas plant of azienda agricola Antonio Sartor is located in the municipality of Paese, near Treviso. Here, there are 800 to 1,000 head of cattle being raised on a 40 hectare land property.
In operation since November 2010, the plant has so far produced over 5,600 Megawatts of electricity, sold to the national grid. The owner, Antonio Sartor, is enthusiastic about the choice he made.
MR SARTOR, PLEASE DESCRIBE HOW YOUR PLANT IS FED.
70% of the plant works with the self-supply from the farm, by using livestock manure and organic waste from the agricultural activity. The remaining 30% uses corn silage. If I could collect the sewage from other stables as well, I would be able to eliminate the silage.
HOW MUCH OF THE PRODUCED ENERGY IS INTENDED FOR YOUR OWN CONSUMPTION?
About 6% of the energy is used to operate the plant, and another 2% is used for cooling. Practically, operating costs are amply assimilated. The rest of the produced energy is sold.
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THIS PERFORMANCE?
If you consider that, thanks to the plant, I can dispose of a huge mass of organic waste in an environmentally friendly way, that I would otherwise have to dispose of in great part… and that I profit from the sale of energy… and that in addition I obtain an excellent fertilizer for my farm… you tell me! I am satisfied, all right!
LET’S TALK NOW ABOUT INVESTMENTS AND EARNINGS…
I have calculated them well. Thanks to the government incentives received in 2010, in 4 years my biogas plant will have paid for itself with the produced revenues. From there onwards, the IES BIOGAS plant only generates profits. Financially, I have preferred to take on a 10 year mortgage and lengthen the capital repayment time. This way, right from the beginning, I created revenue that allowed me to buy other goods for my farm.
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE EFFICIENCY OF YOUR PLANT? WHAT IS YOUR EVALUATION?
In almost 2 and a half years the plant has been stopped for only 83 hours, for some routine maintenance work and when a lightning bolt struck the inverter. But the staff at IES BIOGAS intervened immediately and after 10 hours the problem was solved. In essence it has always worked, day and night, at full power. Also the day-to-day management takes up very little time, much less than what I thought.
AND HOW HAVE YOU FELT WITH IES BIOGAS?
In perfect harmony. They have guided me step by step at every stage, have intervened promptly, and whenever I needed them for advice they have always given me a considerate service. The plant works great; one can see that all the details are taken care of, and that every component is of quality. It is also beautiful to look at, it harmonizes with the landscape. Undoubtedly one of the best investments I have ever made.