Written by Jodie Van Horn, Sierra Club. Posted on EcoWatch
Art and Helen Tanderup are Nebraska farmers who had never intended to become environmentalists. Born and raised in America’s Heartland, the Tanderups have 160 acres in Custer Township, on which they grow corn and soybeans. Today, their farm also has a large solar array and the Tanderups drive a Chevy volt electric vehicle. But that wasn’t always the case. Continue reading. Photo: Art and Helen Tanderup. Credit: John Quigley
Why going green is growing on U.S. farmers – Nebraskans Interviewed on PBS NewsHour. Watch the broadcast here.
MORE SOLAR PROJECTS ON NEBRASKA FARMS & RANCHES
Beller Farm Near Lindsay
News Story: Solar-powered pivots: Family’s project produces surplus energy, holds potential for rest of Nebraska. Photo by Mike Beller
Brummond Farm Near Craig
Project: 10-kilowatt solar system, which powers half of Greg Brummond’s corn and soybean farm.
Source: Growing renewable energy resources to farm with fewer fossil fuels, by Grant Gerlock, Harvest Public Media. Photo: Greg Brummond of Craig, Nebraska. Credit: Brian Seifferlein, Harvest Public Media
Hammond Farm Near Benedict
Project: 25-kilowatt photovoltaic system powers the Hammond farm operation west of Benedict. The project estimate was $84,864; however, a USDA grant and federal tax credits reduced the cost to only $19,100, with a payback of just over 6 years, after which the farm will benefit from free energy. Solar panels typically last 25 or more years.
Source: Farms flexing solar power, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star. Photo by Matt Ryerson/Lincoln Journal Star.
Jenkins Ranch Near Callaway
Project: 25-kilowatt system funded, in part, by a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant. The solar array consists of one hundred 225-watt solar panels. The energy it will generate is estimated to replace 112% of the Jenkins’ yearly usage. The ranch has been in their family since 1876.
Source: Jenkins Ranch Installs Solar Panel for Energy Efficiency, Sandhills Express / Custer County Broadcasting
Knopik Farm Near Belgrade
Project: 15-kilowatt PV system
News Story: Belgrade Story Tour Generates Energy And Interest, Center for Rural Affairs. Courtesy Photo.
Kruger Farm In Minatare
Tony Kruger, August 1, 2015: “I took a class in Lincoln in the mid ’70’s and have had the bug since. Tomorrow I will be the first person on Chimney Rock Public Power to have a solar generating system: Thirty-six 305-watt panels, net metering. It has taken me 4 weekends to complete the project, but tomorrow I should flip the switch. On the farm I also have a passive solar cabin with a trombe wall and an active water unit with 550 gallons on storage.”
Video: Western Nebraska Passive Solar Home, by Aaron Kruger
Resource: Build It Solar provides online plans for a simple solar wall collector for space heating
Photo: Tony Kruger
Pandorf Land & Cattle Company Ranch
Project: 600-kilowatt solar array on the Pandorf Land & Cattle Company Ranch in Custer County, northwest of Callaway. Currently, this is Nebraska’s largest solar array, estimated to generate sufficient electricity to power 60 homes or 10 to 12 center-pivot irrigation systems. The project was partially funded by a USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grant.
News Sources: 600 Kilowatt Solar Array Located on Custer County Ranch, by Dave Schroeder, Rural Radio Network / KTIC. Photo Credit: Rural Radio Network / KTIC
Here comes the sun, by Kamie Stephen, North Platte Telegraph
If you own a farm or ranch in Nebraska and have installed solar, please share your project on our website’s “Solar Examples,” to help educate everyone across our state about solar energy and its benefits: firstname.lastname@example.org