Ag solar is a technology that converts the sun’s rays into renewable energy, which can be used for agricultural power equipment and run farms. The system was developed by Valley(r) Irrigation, a leader in agricultural productivity. Working with Farmers National Company, the nation’s leading land and mineral management company, Valley(r) Irrigation recently completed the first ag solar installation in North America. The company’s system helps farmers produce more, using less water and electricity.
Ag solar is a way to generate electricity from the sun for farms and ranches. The technology is proven, and the government offers tax incentives. It also has low maintenance and is reliable. If you are considering solar for your farm or ranch, contact a company such as Solar Energy Solutions to get more information.
The panels can be installed on roofs of buildings, including poultry houses. They require a roof that can support the additional weight of the panels and a good amount of sunlight. Depending on the type of farming, they can be installed on a roof of a poultry house, a barn, or an equipment and materials building. A different kind of solar panel is ground-mounted, but this will require a large amount of land and could affect crop yields.
The cost of agricultural solar installation is often prohibitive for farmers. But the initial outlay can be reduced if agricultural solar financing is used. For instance, a $50,000 solar power system can cost up to $13,000 more if you finance it with a 10-year, 5% loan. Depending on how much shade the panels receive, agricultural solar can save up to 30% of the water needed for agriculture.
In addition to the low upfront costs, agrivoltaics can provide farmers with a reliable electricity supply, allowing them to sell the excess sunlight they generate. This can help offset the high cost of energy and increase profitability. Agricultural solar arrays have become popular, and companies such as StraightUp Solar assist farmers in achieving a more profitable bottom line.
Solar power is also a great way to lower operating costs and taxes for farmers. It is also environmentally friendly and does not affect animals or plants. The main downside of solar power is the initial investment, but once you have paid for the acquisition, the energy will be free of cost. In addition, government subsidies are available to help farmers harness solar power.
Costs of ag solar projects vary depending on the type of project. Some agrivoltaic projects, such as soil and environmental reports, may require higher upfront costs. These reports are required to get approval for the project and may also involve legal fees. The cost of ground preparation may also be higher for ag solar projects than for conventional solar parks, as groundworks must be laid to a safe depth for solar panels.
There are several tax incentives available for farmers interested in solar energy. A USDA Reap Grant and a state tax credit can help lower ag solar installation costs. Farmers can also benefit from a 25-year warranty for their Solar Power Systems for Ag Solar Solutions. With these benefits, installing solar power on a farm is a profitable investment in the long term.
Energy costs are an enormous expense for growers. In 2018, U.S. farmers spent $2.5 billion on electricity to run irrigation pumps. They devote 6% of their operating budget to energy costs. Farmers with water-intensive crops pay nearly twice that much as non-water-intensive farms. In California, irrigation alone accounts for 70 percent of farm electricity.
Agrivoltaic projects often involve grazing livestock. Depending on the region, topography, and size of the solar arrays, the cost of grazing livestock can range from $250 to $700 per acre per year. Agrivoltaic projects can also involve providing habitat for pollinators. This allows farmers to graze their livestock on the land while the sheep deliver a food source for pollinators.
The costs of solar are higher than the costs for conventional ground-mounted solar projects. The German group looked at the expenses of agrovoltaic projects and compared them to traditional ground-mounted projects. They found that agrivoltaic projects have more system design constraints and subsoil conditions that must be addressed.
Ag solar panels are an excellent option for farmers looking to reduce costs while improving crop yields. Solar power is also a great way to fight atmospheric degradation. Farmers can purchase solar panels for their farms and get a tax credit through the federal government. Furthermore, a solar installation can increase the value of their property.
Agrivoltaics can help meet the nation’s energy needs. An area the size of Maryland could produce enough electricity to power 20 percent of U.S. homes. This could be done on about one percent of all farmland. Moreover, agrivoltaics will help preserve farmland and help farmers maximize agricultural activities.
Another benefit of solar is that it will help farmers reduce water consumption. In addition, the system will reduce the stress on plants and the amount of carbon dioxide they release into the air. Moreover, solar panels will keep the soil more relaxed than conventional methods and reduce water demand. Moreover, solar panels will improve pollinator habitats and increase groundwater quality.
Another benefit of solar is that it is the most affordable energy source. Farmers can sell excess clean electricity to the grid and gain a passive income. Moreover, solar power on farms can help farmers reduce their food costs and help improve the health of livestock. It is also the cheapest energy source in the country.
Besides reducing food costs, ag solar reduces energy supply risk when the power grid goes down. As a farmer, it’s essential to have ample power to cover the demands of the farm. If surplus power is generated, the farm can sell it to the local grid or DISCOM. Furthermore, installing an independent, stand-alone system and earning revenue from the excess energy is possible.
With the rise of renewable energy sources like solar power, farmers and ranchers can now build solar power systems on their land. Government-funded incentives and tax credits are available to help them achieve this goal. Agricultural solar projects help farmers meet their carbon-free energy needs while generating a consistent, long-term source of income. They also help boost agricultural productivity.
The DOE offers a variety of funding opportunities for solar agricultural projects. The funds can be used to research new technologies, improve practices, and promote the use of solar power in agriculture. Some of these projects focus on novel system designs, site configurations, co-location models, and overcoming soft costs. In addition, projects must consider the environmental impact of their construction.
There are also federally-supported energy audits that can help farmers figure out the best solar power development strategies. These audits are a great way to understand solar development costs, benefits, and savings. In addition, they can help farmers identify other ways to save energy. For example, the energy efficiency program at Colorado State University Extension offers free audits to farmers who want to learn more about solar energy.
Another type of grant for agriculture is the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides loans and grants to rural businesses and communities. The loans are guaranteed for up to 75 percent of the cost of eligible projects. Eligible groups include farmers, nonprofit organizations, and low-income homeowners. The program also offers competitive grant funding for solar systems.
There are also several other resources to help agricultural businesses meet their goals. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Community and Economic Development helps agribusinesses obtain the funds they need to expand their operations.