More and more rural electric cooperatives and individual farmers are turning to solar power as an energy alternative. Brady Boell, director of safety and member services for the Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative, says his cooperative has built five sites in Iowa since October 2018. “The idea was to offer members a way to invest in solar energy,” he says. “Many cannot install these arrays on their own property, so this allows them to invest.” Solar energy use has rapidly grown over the past two years, says Tim Dwight, president of the Iowa Solar Trade Association and owner of Integrated Power Corporation, a solar energy installer. Read more here.
Additional Recommended Reading
Bill refines solar rules with input from pork producers, Kenosha Times
Photo Credit: Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY GUIDES FOR SOLAR & SMALL WIND PROJECTS
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Renewable Energy Resources
- NRECA’s Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) Resources
- NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Solar
- NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Community Solar
- NRECA Electric Cooperatives & Wind
Previously Posted News Release
DOE Selects NRECA for Wind Energy Research Initiative
The Department of Energy has selected the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to research small-scale, community-based wind energy solutions that can be deployed by electric cooperatives. NRECA will team with co-ops around the country to evaluate and deploy diverse types of distributed wind projects. Like NRECA’s solar deployment project, a similar DOE-funded program that accelerated utility-scale solar at co-ops across rural America, NRECA expects this project to increase the number of electric cooperatives incorporating wind applications into their resource planning. DOE has identified high technical potential for “hundreds of thousands of turbines” totaling more than 10 gigawatts of electric capacity on rural distribution grids.
Co-locating apiaries, pollinator-friendly plants, and industrial hemp with solar and wind projects can provide extra income for farmers and improve Nebraska’s honey production and retail sales, among other benefits. Click here and scroll down for a list of resources.
INCENTIVES & DEPRECIATION
Incentives for Homeowners & Businesses
Business and residential solar projects qualify for the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is now 26% through December 31, 2020.
All Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Resource: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
Business Equipment Depreciation Resources
Solar and wind farm leases create extra income for farmers and other landowners and provide valuable tax revenues for local communities.
- Growth in Solar Capacity Projected to Fuel Rural Economies, by Eric Galatas, Public News Service-Nebraska
- Wind farms can bring economic benefits, officials say, by Elizabeth A. Elliott, Blair Enterprise Publishing
- Farmland Owner’s Guide to Solar Leasing (PDF), National Agricultural Law Research Publication