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Solar Panels & Farming - A Perfect Win-Win
23 Jul 2019

The use of solar panels for agricultural purposes continues to rise nationwide. While there is no doubt some environmental minded farmers out there who install such technology on moral grounds, the universal fact is that for all agricultural solar power offers potentially tremendous financial savings. 'Ag solar' is a growing trend which has seen a number of specialists - such as us - expand especially into offering premium grade installations that will last for decades and reap incredible savings on energy costs. It's nothing new - agriculture has always depended on the sun - but why not look into how solar technology can help also power supplementary aspects of your farming operation.

 How Long Until Investment Pays Dividends?

 This is the number one question asked when farmers are considering installing a solar power system. Ignore anyone who says it will pay back in a year if purchased at base cost. However - those who are wise to take advantage of all of the various government and state grants available would be likely to see a return comfortably within 3-5. Remember that solar power in the agricultural sector is playing the long game with each installation of panels likely to last a minimum of 25+ years. It is basically a no-brainer for anyone who farms land in Idaho to consider very immediately the possibility of installing solar panels - especially as there is no guarantee that the grants/subsidies/tax breaks will be offered in the future.

Something many people ignore regarding this question is that solar is immediately going to cut bills. The question really is whether you are looking for a system large enough to entirely power your operation, or instead shave a hefty percentage off your energy costs. Those who are able to negotiate the use of any unused land/property for conversion to a solar farm could well be able to actually be paid for generating energy directly for the grid. Such usages may require a legal change from 'agricultural' land through to energy production or suchlike - and this can vary depending on the county.

 Where Can I Install Solar Panels & How To Use Them

It depends very much on what kind of setup you are interested in. Barns are generally superb for solar power production thanks to the angle of the roof, but there is a growing interest in ground-based systems that rotate to follow the sun. Either way, the good news is that the standard of solar panels has improved massively over the last few years. Good quality panels can be anywhere between 50 and 100% more efficient compared to those used for regular commercial panels back in 2010 - and that is a trend which is only going to continue.

A good number of agricultural operations use solar power to effectively manage their irrigation systems 'off-grid'. When dedicated to a specific purpose solar energy can prove to be more practical in farming compared to being simply attached to a general grid. They can also be used to power remote crop monitoring equipment that often otherwise requires the use of battery packs. In all truth, the options are limitless, and it is important to consult with a quality agricultural solar contractor before making any rash decisions! 

We are able to undertake a full survey of your land and find solutions to maximize the benefits that solar power will offer your operation. There are many options and permutations when it comes to making sure that solar power truly delivers that payback, and we are the experts at providing that service.

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