A growing number of farms and agricultural businesses are looking towards solar to power their daily operations. In addition, the cost of going solar has declined, enabling more installations across the country.
Consider the following to help you determine what’s best for you and your farm.
- Reduced electricity costs
- Reduced dependency on utilities
- Diversification of the revenue stream
- Increased ability to install high-value, shade-resistant crops for new markets
- Ability to maintain crop production during solar generation
- Allow for nutrient and land recharge of degraded lands.
- Sell back your excess power generated
Grid Connected Solar Power – Less Costly but Less Versatile
A grid-connected solar system is one that’s tied into the utility lines. When a grid-connected solar system produces more energy than the location needs, the excess energy is fed back into the power grid. This “sell-back” (Net Metering, Banking, Feed-In or Generation Offset) saves you money, neither necessarily includes nor requires batteries.
Off-Grid Solar Power – Freedom and Independence
Off-grid solar energy is an independent system not connected to the power grid. Since solar is only available during the daytime, this system requires energy storage in a form of lithium-ion batteries. The most significant benefit is that your farm keeps running if the power goes out! Off-grid power simplifies your farm operations, giving you predictable and long-term cheaper energy.
Questions to Help You Decide
- Is grid power available? If you don’t have access to grid power and are running generators to power your operations, solar plus batteries are almost guaranteed to be cheaper over a two-to-five year period.
- Can my entire farm be connected to solar power? Yes, and that includes everything from lights and refrigeration/heating to irrigation pumps, to security cameras and gates.
- How long are you willing to wait to recover your costs? In most cases, a grid-connected system will pay for itself within two to three years. For an off-grid system, the payback period is typically three to five years; however, the savings are far more significant.
Supporting the Agricultural Industry
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Contact IMPOWER for a Solar Feasibility Assessment to help you save on your energy bills while ensuring business continuation.
PV Magazine Article
Image: Temple University
Grazing animals increase carbon sequestration by up to 80% in PV projects
Read this great article on the PV-Magazine website to learn how solar panels altered the microclimate variables of the mean air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and soil moisture.