October 6, 2015 (Calgary, AB) – Egg Farmers of Alberta (EFA) is excited to announce that construction of the egg industry’s first net-zero layer barn is well underway at Brant Colony, in Brant, Alberta. The goal of the project is for the facility to be balanced in terms of its energy inputs and outputs, in order to achieve Net-0. The net-zero egg barn is the latest in a series of achievements that illustrates EFA’s commitment to building a sustainable egg industry in Alberta.
“I am pleased that our ministry supported and helped Egg Farmers of Alberta determine what was feasible and what high-efficiency equipment should be in place to achieve a net-zero barn. Innovations in agriculture are definitely front and centre in our minds as we help the industry diversify and make sure jobs are available to Albertans now and in the future,” says Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
Over a given year, the facility will strive to produce enough power through renewable systems to offset power supplied to it by conventional fossil fuels. Energy efficiency measures are often accessible, and sometimes even profitable, which makes them a worthwhile avenue for egg farmers to consider for reducing the environmental footprint at the farm level. For Alberta egg farmers, sustainable egg production is socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable. EFA will capture vital information from the Net-0 project, such as pay-back periods and technology feasibility, to share with the Canadian egg industry.
Egg Farmers of Alberta has worked in collaboration with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to help bring the net-zero project to fruition. In addition to achieving Net-0, the egg farm is working diligently to find a point of balance and optimization of several key factors, including environmental impacts, food safety, animal welfare and economic viability.
A rigorous producer selection process was undertaken by EFA, with Brant Colony emerging as the successful partner. The net-zero facility will include both pullet and layer barns, which will house the hens in a free-run aviary system. The design includes viewing windows to facilitate tours of the net-zero facility, while maintaining the integrity of the on-farm food safety and animal care programs. EFA and Alberta Agriculture will commence energy monitoring of the barn, when it goes into production in early 2016.
EFA will maintain a blog about the net-zero barn at Brant Colony, to chronicle the construction process and highlight the energy-efficient measures included in the barn design.