Tag Archives: reducing farm energy costs

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.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Applications

The spring deadline to apply for USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants is April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. REAP assists agricultural producers and rural small businesses in reducing energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

Who may apply? Small businesses in eligible rural areas and agricultural producers, both rural and non-rural, who have at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations, may apply.

REAP grants provide up to 25% of the total project costs, and a grant and loan combination up to 75%. Eligible projects include renewable energy systems and the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements. Additional details are posted here.

Top Image: Twenty-five kilowatt photovoltaic system installed in 2015 powers the Hammond family farm operations west of Benedict, Nebraska. Credit: Matt Ryerson / Lincoln Journal Star
Previously Posted News Story: Farms flexing solar power, Lincoln Journal Star
Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears
See Solar Examples for brief descriptions and photos of more Nebraska farmers & ranchers who have installed PV systems to reduce their energy costs.

RECOMMENDED READING

 

Rick Hammond and his family are the subjects of This Blessed Earth, the One Book, One Nebraska pick for 2019. Ted Genoways’ award-winning book is also this year’s All Iowa Reads Selection.

 


FEATURED RESOURCES FOR LANDOWNERS

Guides to Solar Land Leases 

GREEN NEW DEAL 

Green New Deal Needs To Include Agriculture Technology, by Austin Frerick, Contributor, Forbes
The way we eat and produce food is a significant contributor to climate change. In fact, agriculture is estimated to contribute between 13% and 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Any “Green New Deal” needs to not only enable innovation around sustainable agriculture, but also encourage farmers to adopt new, environmentally-friendly technologies.