Agricultural Solar Services and Power Systems

 

Barns, remote structures, and outbuildings are a great reason why farms are naturally perfect for solar sites. Large, unused flat areas and roofs with a substantial amount of square footage are great locations for solar energy systems. These units can offset the high cost of power usage on a daily basis. In certain circumstances, the USDA may also offer funding and grants for agricultural solar systems. This can also greatly reduce overall system and operating costs.

 

Solar Energy Provides A Cheaper Remote Electricity Supply 

 

Providing power to remote locations and running electric lines can be expensive, but solar photovoltaic panels are often a cost-effective solution. Solar panels have no moving parts and require zero fuel so they’re far more convenient to maintain and operate than any gasoline or diesel generator. It’s more economical to operate a solar system than a traditional remote electrically-powered system from only 20 yards away from the power source. 

For water pumps, lights, and electric fences, solar systems are extremely reliable. Some solar systems may be too expensive for several crop irrigation systems. However, they can be perfect for smaller irrigation systems, pond aeration, and livestock hydration supplies. In time, the cost of solar systems has been predicted to decline which will also make solar applications increasingly more cost-effective.

In regard to installing a solar system on agricultural properties, the ability to pump water is one of the most logical and easiest applications available. Water pumped by solar power can contribute to domestic water usage, irrigate crops, or other various hydration needs. Solar systems can also assist in water storage even when the sun isn’t shining. This simplifies the process and will eliminate the need for battery packs. In addition, it lowers the total cost of the entire system.

 

Why Invest in Solar Power?

 

Cost of Solar Panels: The acquisition and cost of a solar system is not as expensive as it once was. The material costs are lower, the installation is cheaper, and the rate of return on the investment is much faster than in the past.

Net Metering: The demand for energy is always on the rise. This means that it’s become easier to set up net metering with a local utility company. During solar overproduction periods, you’ll earn credit. When solar production periods are low you can use those same credits to offset your own electric usage.

The Price of Electricity Continues to Increase: Having a solar system will provide you with a way to avoid the always rising electrical utility prices. By generating your own electricity, you’ll avoid the rising costs. If an increase in power is ever needed, you can always add panels to your current operating system quickly and easily.

 

Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency

 

Colorado farmers spend more than $400 million annually on energy. This number continues to grow. The $400 million equals 7% of the agricultural industry’s total expenses. Irrigation and dairy operations have accrued the highest energy costs. In response to these numbers, the Colorado Energy Office launched a statewide irrigation and dairy efficiency program. (It’s now called the Agricultural Energy Efficiency or AgEE program) Over the last five years, AgEE has developed and provided technical assistance and no-cost energy audits to assist agricultural producers. This has helped increase environmental and economic sustainability for farmers. 

 

How Can I Participate?

 

Contact the Colorado Energy Office and let them know that you’re interested in participating in the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency program. Here is what that process will look like:

  1. The Colorado Energy Office team will gather information on your energy use data and schedule an audit.
  2. They will perform an on-farm energy audit facility tour with your energy coach to identify, measure and collect all operational information.
  3. The audit report will review and identify efficiency measures and prepare an energy management plan to secure grant funding for your facility.
  4. They’ll apply for funding, collect contractor quotes, complete incentive programs, and grant applications. Then submit the report for pre-approval from any funding organizations.
  5. Finalization of the scope of the project with any support needed during the process is completed and installation begins.
  6. Confirmation of project verification and completion. Then the delivery of any final documentation and invoices to the project’s funding sources.

Several farmers in Colorado have enjoyed the benefits and savings from participating in these energy efficiency programs available. More info and testimonials from farmers in Colorado can be read here.

Visit the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program website or email at CEO_AG_EE@nexant.com. You can download the program application here

 

Steel City Solar Can Help

 

As the highest-rated solar energy company in Southern Colorado, we’ve helped many farmers and their families achieve their agricultural energy efficiency goals in conjunction with the CEO Programs available. 

Reach out to Steel City Solar for all of your solar agricultural energy inquiries. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today for a free assessment by phone, 719-569-5166 or online to begin the process.