The Solar Power Bonanza: Farmers Can Readily Tap Into The Explosive Growth In Solar Generation

By Dave Mowitz, Successful Farming

Sandy and Greg Brummond know a good deal when they see one. Five years ago they cashed in on incentives offered on solar systems and invested in a $39,000 solar array that sits atop their farm shop near Craig, Nebraska. The payoff was twofold for the Brummonds. Their current system (which can be expanded) generates 43% of the electricity their farm and home uses. Second, their solar array came with financial help. “To offset some of the cost, we got a $9,000 federal grant,” Sandy Brummond explains. “We also qualified for a 30% federal tax credit that offset $12,000 from the purchase and installation cost.”  Read more here.

Photo by Brian Seifferlein, NET Videographer: The Brummonds’ 10-kilowatt solar system. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Solar ITC Extension
COVID Aid Package Makes Initial Commitment to a Clean Energy Recovery, News Release, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Under this legislation, the solar ITC will remain at 26% for projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022, step down to 22% in 2023, and down to 10% in 2024 for commercial projects while the residential credit ends completely.

New EIA Report
Renewables account for most new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2021
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest inventory of electricity generators, developers and power plant owners plan for 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity to start commercial operation in 2021. Solar will account for the largest share of new capacity at 39%, followed by wind at 31%. About 3% of the new capacity will come from the new nuclear reactor at the Vogtle power plant in Georgia.

New SCE Paper: “Reimagining The Grid”
2021 Outlook: The DER boom continues, driving a ‘reimagining’ of the distribution system, by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive. Continued falling prices of DER, ambitious new state and federal policies, and customer demand in 2021 will drive growth, power industry representatives said. And while utility-scale renewables growth will still boom, DER, including rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles (EVs), can be central to protecting reliability, according to a new Southern California Edison (SCE) paper describing the evolution of tomorrow’s grid.

Biden’s “Green Brain Trust”
Renewables and unions: Biden rounds out energy Cabinet, by Lesley Clark and Heather Richards, E&E News. Biden is gathering a “green brain trust” of officials with technical expertise as well as political ambassadors to serve as evangelists for his policy initiatives, said Kevin Book of the consulting firm ClearView Energy Partners LLC. “Biden appears to be deliberately deploying technical experts to strategic roles and political champions to operational ones,” Book said.